Monday, December 31, 2007

Year End Review

From 1 to 365 days in a blink of an eye.....

How did I score with my 2007 resolutions?:
1) Just lose the extra 5 pounds as a start,
Only 1 pound lost... but that's better than nothing, right?

2) Read at least one (non-fiction) book every 3 months,
Haven't been reading many books...
But reading up on work stuff counts! (Well, I think so anyway)

3) Negotiate much harder for a better increment (at least 6%),
I give up on this one. I've already tried my best but if my boss doesn't think I'm worth keeping then it's just too bad. Oh well, in 2008 this resolution is amended to: FIND A NEW JOB, ASAP.

4) Be nicer to parents and darling bf.
Ha!
FINALLY - Success!I have been relatively nicer to parents and no longer have a bf so that resolution doesn't count anymore!

5) Drink less alcohol! Drink more water!
This resolution on the other hand, I have failed miserably at.

I guess I'll just have to try harder to achieve my resolutions in 2008....
:)
I know some of them have been continually recycled since God knows when but I think it's good to keep it in the list and just keep working on it till I succeed.

In the meanwhile, I want to wish a big, hearty Happy (Gwailo) New Year 2008.....!


Hugs,
J

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks in One Utama!

Finally! An update: More yummy food in One Utama Shopping Centre old wing....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(March 08)

Yay!
They have expanded very quickly - now there are Shihlin outlets at most major shopping centres in the KL/ PJ area (eg. Pavilion, Gardens, Sunway Pyramid) and even Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall - Melaka.
(And after eating the Oyster Mee Sua/ XXL Chicken so many times, I'm still not sick of it! Still love it, in fact... although I wish they would have more choices for drinks - somehow I feel the soya bean clashes with the yummy food)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know.
:)

Ciao,
J

[ END EDIT ]

I had always wondered why this little shop in 1 Utama Shopping Centre was so popular and now, thanks to my friend Ken, I know why!

The Dinner:

Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks, which is located near the TGV cinema in the old wing (top floor) is the epitome of "cheap and good food but darn uncomfortable setting".

There is almost no place to sit down and eat in the cramped eatery as the kitchen seems to take up about 80% of the space, with a couple of stools and tiny tables at the side if you insist on dining in:
Long line at the restaurant...

Another downside to this little restaurant is that there is an extremely limited menu - they only serve 4 food items - the XXL Crispy Chicken (RM 5.50++), Seafood Tempura (RM 5.50++), Crispy Floss Egg Crepe (RM 5.50++) and Handmade Oyster Mee Sua (RM 5.50++) and 2 drinks - Soya bean and water:
A look at Shihlin...

The good thing though - since their menu is SO focused, everything tastes good!

Ok. Well, I thought everything was nice except the Tempura Seafood:
The Seafood Tempura...

The texture of the Seafood Tempura is kinda spongey (a bit like fish cake) and a bit starchy but with very little flavour of any seafood....

Still, 3 out of 4 isn't bad, right?
We tried the other 3 dishes - the Crispy Floss Egg Crepe, XXL Fried Chicken and the Oyster Mee Sua - and they were all delicious:
The Crispy Floss Egg Crepe...

This simple dish, fluffy chicken floss rolled in a firm "skin" of egg crepe and drizzled with some slightly sweet but savoury sauce was a nice light appetizer.

The XXL Deep Fried Chicken...

As for the chicken - WOW.
(I am never eating KFC again)
The tender meat, encased in super crispy and tasty batter was just perfect. You can choose to have it without the optional chili powder but I think that gives it that extra kick.
(WARNING: Practise caution when eating it. Be patient! It's molten hot when they first serve it.........)

The Oyster Mee Sua...

Lastly, the Oyster Mee Sua...
*eyes glaze over*
What a wondrous combination! - Thick savoury soup, tender silky strands of mee sua, fragrant coriander and shredded chicken, topped with a big, fat (and surprisingly fresh) oyster. Again, they let you choose whether you want the chili sambal thingy or not but I really think that it gives it that extra zing without making it too spicy.

Ok.
So the service is a little gruff, they refuse to do anything "special" like actually cut the lava hot deep fried chicken into smaller pieces, almost everything is served in a paper bag and it's very uncomfortable to dine there (seats are so limited and uncomfortable!)... but still, I plan to go back soon.
(What can I say? I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment)
:)

So it's: Extremely reasonable prices for delicious food BUT gruff service, uncomfortable to eat in and extremely limited menu.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks @ One Utama Shopping Centre (Old Wing)

Taste: 8
Ambience : 3
Service : 4
Price** : RM 11/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 2 course meal (they don't have desserts here), excluding drinks
Telephone No.: -
Opening Hours: 11am till late

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- Kampung Boy City Gal
- Wantan Productions
- The Poop Shoot
- Mark's Makan


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Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Mood

Fa la la la la la la la laaa.....

OK.
No food updates because I have been busy being on leave.
:)

Busy with what?:
- Sleeping in (Bliss!),
- Watching DVDs (Nice to vegetate in front of the idiot box once in a while),
- Catching up with friends over lunch/ dinner (Yay!),
- Al's shopping spree makeover (A rare and fun occasion so Double Yay!),
- Spending too much money on trying to save money during the Great Malaysian Year End Sale (Booooo..... Purse in pain and credit card worn out!),
Oh, and most importantly:
- GYM! (I am in so much pain now it's not funny)

Anyway, I will update as soon as I can on food.
(Probably late next week though...)
(Sorry, I have been infected by the "Holiday Mood" virus so I'm taking a short break)

In the meanwhile, I want to wish you all a big and joyous:
Happy (Belated) Hari Raya Adiladha.....!
And also:
Merry Christmas.....!
I hope that you will all have a blessed celebration, surrounded by your loved ones.
:)

(And for those who don't actually celebrate the above holidays.... Well, have a good time resting and relaxing during your days off!)


Hugs,
J

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Prayer For Selective Amnesia

Oh no! EMO alert: J's feeling poetic again.....

~~ * ~~

Why hold on to the pain,
Of the scars that run so deep?
Why hold on to memories of happiness,
That was never yours to keep?

I don't want it,
Not even a bit.
I don't need it,
To haunt me in my sleep.

I am tired of this sorrow,
I am tired of the tears.
So tomorrow, and all the days after,
Please. Don't come near.

I don't believe in miracles.
This is reality.
This is life.

Leave my heart alone.

I need to forget.


~~*~~

PS/
I am ok.
Really.
:)
And no, it's not especially dedicated to you know who.
Just felt like throwing some corny lines together that sort of rhyme.

Oh, and on another note:
It's so scary! I think that there really is something very very wrong with my brain/ long term memory functions....

Why?
Well, just tonight I met up with a couple of friends from primary school (how quickly 15 years have passed!). It was so fun - chatting and catching up..... and then I got pretty freaked out when I realised how little I remember of our good ol' school days....

It's unnerving when everyone's reminiscing over people and events, laughing, exclaiming, guffawing.... and I don't remember a thing.
Not a THING.
O_o

And then what freaked me out even more was that when I stopped to really think about it: There's very little of my childhood and primary school days that I can remember.
*wail*

See lah.
The side effects of excessive alcohol.
:(

*gasp*
Or maybe I had something so terrible happen to me that I blocked out my childhood completely???

Haha....
No lah.
(So drama!)
I think it's just age catching up with me too quickly...
(Or could be that time in high school that I fell backwards and hit my head on an iron bar?)

Oh well.
It's not necessarily a bad thing to have a bad memory anyway, is it?
For example, you can't be sad over something you can't remember, right?
:)


Signing off,
J

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Yummy Zuup

Yummy soups and other food in One Utama Shopping Centre....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(Apr 2010)

HELP.
I thought Zuup was just closed for renovations but now it looks like another restaurant has taken over their spot in One Utama. :(

Does anyone know what happened to them? Have they relocated? *VERY HOPEFUL*


Wants her yummy soup back,
J

[ END EDIT ]


This small and cosy restaurant on the Lower Ground Floor of One Utama (Old Wing), has been open for as long as I can remember but I had never ventured in.... So, last week (as I was doing my Christmas shopping), I decided that it was high time I tried it out.

The Lunch:

As they specialise in soup here, there is a good range of soups on the menu. What I especially liked is that they have 3 serving sizes for you to choose from (small cup for RM 6.90++, medium bowl for RM 9.90++ and large bread bowl for RM 12.90++).... so you can actually have the soup as a light meal by itself, or just to complement your main meal.
In the Interior of Zuup, looking out...

They have also recently extended their variety of mains (according to the friendly waiter) so there are quite a few starters/ salads/ sandwiches/ pastas/ other mains and desserts to choose from.

After some deliberation, I decided to try the Baked Potato Skins (RM 6.90++) as a starter:
The Baked Potato Skins...

Overall, I wasn't impressed with it - although the potato itself was just nice (fluffy and moist texture, without any starchiness), the overall taste was rather bland as the cheese and ham were pretty much tasteless.
(A liberal dose of salt and this was quickly fixed though)

Moving on, I chose a Medium Bowl of the Lamb Goulash (RM 9.90++) as my main:
The Lamb Goulash (medium size)...

Mmmmm.
Delicious!
Loved the thick texture of the soup, rich with spices and chunky vegetables (carrots, celery, etc.... all wonderfully tender). The pieces of lamb were also pretty good (medium tenderness) and made this a great light meal.

Sadly, I didn't have any space for dessert after that (although there were some that sounded pretty interesting) so that's it for now.
(FYI: I'm sorry but you're going to have to put up with my restaurant reviews having slightly less menu items featured (as compared to before).... I am now single, and will therefore dine alone more often (as compared to before) and I definately cannot afford to order lots of food and just waste it)
(Just bear with me, ok?)

Anyway, I enjoyed my meal there and have made a note to go back soon to try out the other yummy sounding soups.
(I LOVE SOUP!)
:)

So it's: Good variety of soups (available in 3 serving sizes) and various pastas/ other mains, casual setting, reasonable prices and friendly service BUT nothing much to complain except that service (although friendly) could have been a bit faster.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Zuup Soup Bar @ LG, One Utama Shopping Centre

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 26/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7728 3698
Opening Hours: 11am till late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Babe In The City
- Brought Up 2 Shar3
- Living In Food Heaven
- Da Wheel Of Life & Happiness


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Friday, December 14, 2007

The End Is Nigh

Wish me luck.....

Where the Hell did the year go??
Dammit - I can't believe that 2007 just went by so quickly!
:(

Overall, I'd say it's been a pretty bad year in most all areas...
I have been and still am (despite my best efforts) feeling unbelievably angsty over numerous things:
1) Work:
Honestly, I know I've been told (verbally) that actions are being taken already but this is really getting out of hand! If I don't see even an outline/ shadow of what has been hinted to me soon (in writing, mind you) then I really don't see any future in my job...
(It's especially dangerous since I have heard that my bosses will probably move on to other roles next year.... Baseless rumours? Or truths? Dunno....)

2) Money:
Pffft....
Don't even get me started.

3) Love life:
All my friends seem to be getting married.
Don't get me wrong. I am genuinely happy for them.... Very happy that they found The One they love dearly and want to spend the rest of their lives with (who coincidentally love them back just as much and have also no intention of sharing their lives with anyone else).
*sigh*
I am beginning to think that my One doesn't exist.
And I'm also beginning to suspect that maybe there's just something wrong with me.

4) Worst of all: Health/ Fitness:
I've only lost one pound...
Despite the whole "work out more/ eat more carefully" routine, I've only managed to lose ONE miserable pound. ONE.
(Ok, so I haven't exactly been going 3 times a week consistently but it's already a damn lot more than before)

Bah.
BAH, I say!

*sigh*
I only hope that 2008 will be a better year...
But then again, how much worse could it possibly get?
(NO GOD, please do not try to inflict a sense of irony onto J following that last question. Thank you very much, O' Omnipotent One!)
:)


Counting down to 2008,
J

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pho Hoa @ The Curve

Yay! A food update: Vietnamese food hidden in the Asian section of the popular Curve shopping centre....

The Lunch:

Pho Hoa is slightly hidden in the ground floor of the Asian courtyard area in the Curve (sorta behind Baskin Robbins and that Thai Express place):
The Exterior of Pho Hoa.......

You can choose to either dine in the open air area in between the restaurant and the nice water features (can get a bit warm) or in the bright and chirpy interior of this restaurant which I found simple yet comfortable:
The Interior of Pho Hoa.........

We started off our meal that day with a selection of appetizers, the Vietnamese Steamed Chicken, Rice and Egg Cake and 2 Spring Rolls:

Top: The Traditional Steamed Vietnamese Chicken, Rice and Egg Cakes, Bottom: The Spring Rolls......

Overall, all the starters tasted pretty good... Oh, but if you don't like the taste of salted egg then you shouldn't order the rice cake (It's not like a really *Wham!* in your face/ damn strong sorta flavour of salted eggs but you can definately taste it in there)

Moving on to the mains, we started off with the Sour Seafood Noodles:
The Sour Seafood Noodles.....

Wow.
Sour...
(I thought it was ok but I can imagine that some would find it just a bit too sour as my "sour" tolerance level is pretty high)
Still, it was interesting.... and there was a generous amount of sliced fish and various other seafood in there. I was very disappointed with the texture of the noodles though... I generally like noodles with a little "bite" to them and these just tasted limp, overcooked and quite forgettable *.

Anyway, can't go to a Vietnamese restaurant and NOT sample the Beef Pho, right?

So, next we tried the Classic Vietnamese Beef Noodles (chosen here are the beef slices and beef balls - there are other parts of the cow that you can choose from too):
The Classic Beef Noodles.....

I found that the beef noodles only tasted ok.... Not that it was bad, just not as good as I would have liked - the soup was pretty good: smooth and robust but the beef was ever so slightly overcooked/ tough and again, the noodles felt limp and very lifeless*.

Something else worth trying there if you are feeling particularly health concious is the Chicken and Prawn Salad:
The Chicken and Prawn Salad...

It's basically freshly sliced veggies with a light dressing, mixed with strands of noodles and a fairly generous amount of grilled chicken and prawn. Taste-wise, this dish is nice - I liked the well marinated and nicely grilled flavour of the chicken....

All in all, I enjoyed the food at Pho Hoa... I was definately expecting more from this famous international chain of Vietnamese restaurants though, but the prices are pretty decent (around RM 3 to 8 for the starters and RM 10 to 15 for the noodles/ rice dishes) so it's not a bad place to pop in for a relatively healthy and affordable meal.

So, it's: Comfortable but simple casual ambience with friendly service, decent range of rice and noodle dishes on the menu for reasonable prices BUT the noodle texture lacks bite (a little too limp for my taste) and limited selection of desserts.

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
* (April 08)

Good news - the texture of their noodles have improved!
(Specifically: they are no longer limp and forgettable)

At first I thought it may be a fluke but I've been back a few times since it seems more likely that it could be a permanent improvement.
(Cool!)
(Hmmmm, the beef slices are still a little tough though.... *crosses fingers*)


Just thought you should know,
J

[ END EDIT ]



Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Pho Hoa Noodle Shop @ The Curve, Damansara

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM21/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7725 9880
Opening Hours: 11am - late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- KL People KL Food
- Da Wheel Of Life And Happiness
- CYeat Asian Food & Travel
- YongKaiLoon.com


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Monday, December 10, 2007

Dedicated To No One

My current anthem.....

It's funny when you find that one song where the lyrics and rhythm and melody seem to combine perfectly to touch your soul, like it's resonating to the beat of your heart.

Over the last few weeks, I've been listening to/ humming this Matchbox Twenty song (named Disease) to get me through the day:

It's everything I could possibly want in a song right now - totally conflicted, angry yet sad, strong yet human and filled with love, hate, melancholy and a little pinch of regret.....

Wow.
I'm still so emo!
(Should be ashamed - I should be getting too old for this)

Anyway, it's a nice song... It's probably a little loud for some but well.. *shrugs*.. I like it a lot lah. As much as I like RnB and ballads and jazz and the classics, I think you'll never be able to take that little bit of rock out of my soul.....


Signing off,
J the Chocoholic


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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

No Food Update

Time to roll out the excuses.....

I am busy.
Really really busy.

And I am depressed.
Very very depressed.
(Long story. Shan't go into it now)

Anyway, bear with me for a bit.... I'll update (on food) as soon as I can but it's probably not going to be for another week at least.
(Not only do I not have the time for it right now but with my current mindset/ mood, I will probably be wrongly but heavily biased to think that everything tastes horrible... except alcohol that is - alcohol tastes great)


I SO need a hug and for someone to tell me that everything is going to be OK,
J the Chocoholic


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