Thursday, June 28, 2012

Respect, Honour and Integrity

I had initially written a few more paragraphs, but decided to wipe them all out and just sum up my blog post with this line:

The human race is flawed, and until evolution makes us rise above and have respect, honour and integrity, the human race is destined to be flawed until the powers of the universe wipes us out completely, and a fresh cycle begins in the distant future, hopefully, with better results.

Nespresso

Caffeine in the workplace for those in dire need of some shots. 

Make your own latté.

Pretty pretty capsules.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

7th Mile Kitchen @ Kelana Sentral, Kelana Jaya

We first came across this place via a posting in our community Facebook page. The owners of the stall claim to serve authentic Sarawak kolo mee and Sarawak laksa, so I mentioned to hubby that we had to try this place one day and put their claims to a taste test.

It's kinda hard to find good tasting kolo mee in PJ, simply because good stalls are scarce. Many stalls claim to serve authentic Sarawak kolo mee, but somehow the taste just doesn't match their claims. Hubby and I have been to Kuching before, and I have to say that the kolo mee we had, tasted really good.

So where is this 7th Mile Kitchen? Currently it is located on the ground floor of Kelana Sentral, Kelana Jaya. Just off the LDP and along Jalan Bahagia (opposite the customs flats), you might miss this restaurant as it's tucked away in the corner. If you're still unclear, fret not, as this blog even has a video to show you how to get there (directions are from Kelana LRT side): http://www.tristupe.com/2012/06/direction-to-7th-mile-kitchen.html

Sarawak kolo mee - RM 4.50 (small)
So far, I've been to this place 3 times on each consecutive weekend, each time ordering different dishes. My first time there, I had their kolo mee. Springy handmade kolo noodles, generous helpings of mince pork and spring onions, now this is a happy lunch :D

Sarawak tomato mee - RM 4.50 (small)
My second trip there, hubby had their kolo mee while I opted to try their Tomato Mee, which is essentially the same handmade kolo mee (deep fried), and soaked in tomato gravy. Noodles were crunchy like eating Mamee snacks, while the tomato sauce added the tangy flavour. Oh, and the prawns were springy too!

Sarawak laksa - RM 4.50 (small)
My third time there, we went for the famous Sarawak laksa. Generous portions of vermicelli, shredded chicken meat, taugeh, and the delicious laksa broth. Omnomnomnomnom~!

Kuching style teh c-ping special - RM 2.50
This is their Teh C-Ping Special, which is three-layer tea, Kuching style. Just nice on a hot humid day~


Monday, June 25, 2012

Durians!

Musang King and 'zhuk kiok' (bamboo leg) durians. Awesomeness giler!



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Henry Cook @ SStwo Mall

Having worked in SStwo Mall for about 6 months, I've never stepped foot into Henry Cook, and I can't really explain why! Anyway, we walked in the other day because my colleagues and I wanted to just give this place a shot, and after that day, we'll definitely be back for more :D

Henry Cook serves a blend of eastern and western delights, and their price tags was surprisingly reasonable. They have daily set lunches as well, which price tags that won't burn a gaping hole in our wallets. Another colleague of ours who has been here before, highly recommended their Singapore Nyonya Laksa, so we decided to give this dish a try. We were not disappointed...

Singapore Nyonya Laksa with egg - RM 7.90 (w/o egg RM 6.90)
The laksa broth was creamy and not spicy, which fits perfectly for my taste buds, as I can't eat dishes which are too spicy. Generous portions of the laksa noodles (lai fun), taugeh, and I also discovered shredded slices of kebab chicken. I would defnitely go back to Henry Cook for this bowl of laksa, it's really good value for money.

Brownie with ice-cream - RM 7.90
For dessert, we decided to try their brownie with ice-cream. Best dessert on any given day, a warm brownie served on a warm plate, topped with melting ice-cream. What I like about the brownie was that it's very 'padat', rich in chocolate and the texture is just right. It's like having a slice of ying and yang in your mouth. And the little res heart deco just made it look even more irresistible! The hearts are edible, but they're a little hard though, but the presentation made us girls go ga-ga~

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Advertising+Marketing Magazine's Digital Agency of The Year Award 2012

14th June 2012 will be a night Integricity will never forget, as Integricity bagged 2 awards that night: First award was for Local Hero (locally founded, independent agencies), second was the Silver cube (emerging second place) for the overall Digital Agency of The Year category.

A few months back, we received news that we were nominated as one of the finalists under the Digital Agency of The Year category, and what was astonishing was that we were standing next to giants in the industry. Big players with huge budgets, resources and global presence, who are accustomed to winning awards. We knew right away we were the underdogs, but that won't stop us from delivering our best, right?

The Agency of the Year awards is regarded as the region’s leading measurement of agency performance and the only awards wholly judged by the people who really matter: client marketers. When we were informed we were a finalist, we felt so honoured that our clients actually felt we deserved this award. Made us feel really proud of the work which we are doing, and I guess you could say, we must be doing something right for our clients to give us their votes.

Never the less, one of the key requirements of the award was that the finalists must also submit a 3-minute video, on top of some paper work to further elaborate and support the key points in the video. We had less than 6 weeks to think of the video, execute, shoot, post-production and submit. Gawd, talk about a nightmare.  I salute my colleagues for working really hard to ensure the video was a success, for this is the first time we've attempted such a feat. 

During the awards night at KL Hilton, some of went into the ballroom with this mindset (me included): We were nominated, and for that alone, makes us winners, as we're on the same page with the big guns in the industry. I guess in a way, some of us also didn't want to have too high hopes, lest expectations are not met and we leave the place crying haha! But yea, everyone was nervous (some more than others), and my boss was finishing his vodka lime to calm his jittery nerves. Our category was in the 4th segment, which meant the night was going to be long. 

As the awards went out, we cheered and clapped for the deserving winners, both big names and local heroes. And when it came to our category, everyone was attentive. When we heard our company name for the Local Hero award, we cheered so loud and hard, some of us were in disbelief and in tears. And when we heard our company name for the second time, this time winning the Silver cube, everyone went ballistic! The whole table walked up to the main stage to receive the award and have our pictures taken, it was indeed a very proud moment for all of us. To be standing there, holding on to an award which our clients felt we deserve to win. And to be the underdogs, ousting some of the giants, to win the Silver cube (Bronze went to TBWA\Tequila, while Gold went to Arc Worldwide/ Leo Burnett, both agencies with global presence).


A+M Magazine's Digital Agency of The Year awards: Local Hero (Red cube) and Silver cube (2nd place).
I'm still digesting the news, things still feel very surreal. I guess most of my colleagues who were with me that night, is also feeling the same way. We did it! We actually did it! And now we must continue to strive and do better, and aim for the coveted Gold cube next year! Look out peeps, Integricity is a force to be reckoned with! *dance dance*


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Paradise Dynasty @ Paradigm Mall

We walked into Paradise Dynasty chinese restaurant located in the new Paradigm Mall, whose menu looked quite similar to Dragon-i, serving la mien and 'xiao long bao'. Paradise Dynasty it seemed, pride itself for its famous 8 flavours 'xiao long bao' : original, foie gras, black truffle, crab roe, cheese, ginseng, minced garlic and Szechuan.

 I really like this large Buddha statue, very calm facial expression.
Glancing through the menu, this place reminded me a little of Dragon-i, with the various pork-based la mien, Shanghainese dishes and not forgetting their 'xiao long bao'. We promptly made our orders: 1 basket of original 'xiao long bao', hubby decided on fried rice and I had their pork belly la mien.

Paradise Dynasty menu.
6 original flavour 'xiao long bao' - RM 12.80++
The 'xiao long bao' came first, and we tucked into the little dumplings. There's even a little place card on the table, to teach you how to eat the 'xiao long bao'. How are their 'xiao long bao' compared to Dragon-i? For me, I actually prefer the 'xiao long bao' from Dragon-i, as I find the meat flavour more aromatic. However, the broth is pretty identical. Never the less, the 'xiao long bao' from Paradise Dynasty is still yummy. Maybe next time if we're adventurous enough, we might just decide to try their other funky flavours (foie gras? really? in a 'xiao long bao'?).

Hubby's fried rice, can't recall the pricing.
Hubby's order was not bad either, and portion was generous. I had to wait quite a while for my la mien order though, as the kitchen ran out of la mien, and the chef was frantically making a new batch for the many orders that were coming in. I didn't take a picture of my la mien, as I was too famished to whip out my phone >.< So just try to visualize from my words...

I absolutely love the broth. If you prefer a clearer pork broth with your noodles, as compared to something richer from say, Menya Musahi, you will like the broth from Paradise Dynasty. The many hours of cooking and boiling the pork bone and meat, and the end result is a velvety broth, not too strong yet flavourful and tantalizing. The texture of the la mien kinda reminded me of 'mee sua', except that this la mien is not as sticky and it's thicker. The combination of the la mien and broth spelled perfection, and the pork belly was simply delicious. Oh, and there's half a lava egg too. I could have another bowl of this!

We still have 2 vouchers to utilize for this place, both of which must be used for the 'xiao long bao'. I think I'll just ask my parents to pop over and try out the funky dumplings.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Honey Garlic Pork Chops (for two!)

Super easy recipe, and super yummeh!


Ingredients
Pork shoulder loin (or if you prefer something leaner, just go for the lean pork cuts)
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 tbps honey
1 tsp soy sauce
A dash of white pepper


Marinate the meat overnight. In a hot pan, sear the meat until the outer layer is caramelized a little, then pop the meat in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 mins to cook (cooking time will depend on how thick the cut is). Makes an awesome dinner for two ^.^

The second time I tried this recipe, I omitted the garlic (because I didn't have any left), so it simply became honey ketchup pork chops, and still came out great!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Menya Musashi @ Isetan, 1Utama

Ramen is usually the last thing I would think of when it comes to Japanese food, simply because most of the ramens served is too salty for my liking. Also because I much prefer to sink my teeth into some thick juicy sashimi cuts, heh!

So when I came across an article in The Malaysian Insider about this chain of ramen outlet from Japan, I told hubby about it and he agreed to check it out. According to some reviews, Menya Musashi is said to be “the best ramen chain in Tokyo”. OK, my knowledge about good tasting ramen from Japan is very limited, so I honestly have no idea who or what to expect from Menya Musashi. It could just be an over-priced ramen outlet for all I know, right?

Menya Musashi's signage.
Located on the top floor of Isetan 1Utama's 'Eat Paradise' (there are other eateries to choose from as well), it was pretty easy to distinguish Menya Musashi from the rest of the F&B outlets. Just look out for the many samurai graphic paintings decorating the wall, and the black pillar deco. We were there on a Sunday, and it was only 11.30am, but already a steady queue of eager patrons patiently waiting in line to have their sumptuous bowl of ramen. You know what people say, where there is a long queue the food is bound to be good!

While waiting in line, a sweet waitress gave us a menu to check out. I decided to have their signature Musashi ramen with Kuro (fried shallot and garlic oil), while hubby opted for their Chashu Men with Aka (home-made chilli oil), and 2 glasses of cold green tea. Hot ramen + cold green tea = ying & yang. As we were waiting in line, we could hear the enthusiasm coming from the kitchen, the loud cheers and positive energy flowing from the chefs and into every ramen bowl they prepare.

Chef Daisuke Yamaguchi's samurai portrait.
Overseeing the operations of the outlet was a tall sturdy looking man in black and wooden Japanese clogs,  whom I'm guessing, is the head chef from Japan. A little Googling and I discovered this man is chef Daisuke Yamaguchi, who happens to have a samurai painting of him right outside of the outlet too! Very cool looking dude, "hou yau yeng ah!" 

Samurai paintings.
At Menya Musashi, you must first pay for your food before you step in. A very straight forward concept, that way you sit down, eat, and leave. We were ushered by the head chef to our seats, and the waitress came over the double confirm our orders. Less than 2 minutes later, our piping hot bowls of ramen were served. I was quite surprised to see my bowl of Musashi Ramen's soup with a tinge of black, it must be the fried shallot and garlic oil I had asked for. Ita daki mas!


Musashi Ramen with Kuro (fried shallot and garlic oil) - RM 26
When it comes to noodles, I will always drink the soup first, to get the taste of the broth. The broth was flavourful, and rightly so as it's made from pork and chicken feet! If you're one of those who don't really favour pork all that much, then Menya Musashi's ramen may be a bit over powering for your taste buds. The ramen was springy, I LIKE SPRINGY! And the chashu portion that came with the ramen was generous, 2 huge slices of it, with meat so tender and delicious. Hubby's Chashu Men with chilli oil was delicious too, and he thoroughly enjoyed the broth as well. His ramen portion also came with huge slices of chashu, w00t!

Chashu Men with Aka (home-made chilli oil) - RM 30
Despite the high price tags on the ramen (2 ramens + 2 drinks + tax, the bill came to RM 69), Menya Musashi's ramen is by far the yummiest ramen I've had in a long time. The broth was full of rich flavour, the ramen was springy, the chashu absolutely divine, with the half boiled egg texture marinated in shoyu was pleasant. I read that some folks found the egg too cooked, but I won't comment cos I am not familiar with Menya Musashi's style of ramens, the egg that came with my ramen was just nice for me. And after slurping all the ramen and soup, what better way to end the meal with a tall refreshing glass of green tea :D


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Keeping Warm

No, I'm not exaggerating. This is the temperature at my work place.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Paradigm Mall: A Social Media Fiasco

*My personal opinion and does not reflect the mall nor anyone else.
Image taken from Paradigm Mall's official website.
A few days ago, the tending topic was of Paradigm Mall's Facebook inappropriate reply with regards to one of the customer's trolling comment. It all started with a customer's comment about the lifts in the mall. In response to that, another Facebook user replied with sarcasm (and it isn't his first time trolling the mall's page). 

Whoever was behind the mall's Facebook presence, must have snapped, because the next reply from them, unleashed a tsunami of backlash from every imaginable angle. You can refer to the image below and see for yourselves the damage the mall picked up as a result of poor social media management. The last time I checked the page, this thread had garnered over 500 comments in a couple of hours.


In the company I'm currently employed at, I've learnt a lot of what social media is and how to behave when using it. And when I came across Paradigm Mall's fiasco, the first fault would inevitable point to the person/vendor handling the account. Honestly, that retort and sarcasm directed to the troller wasn't necessary. I felt it could have been handled better, or simply just ignore that shit stirrer. The mall is a month old, and for the Management to venture into having a social media presence, is actually very brave. In fact, I do believe they are actually looking forward to whatever feedback they can get, because they really want to make this mall work.

Unfortunately, the Management might need a bit more lessons about what and how social media really works. And over the last few days, the mall's image took a plunge, but never the less brought on some publicity along the way. From 8,000 likes to over 10,000 likes in a span of a few days! OK, so the metrics may not translate to everything good about it, as out of the 10,000 likes, over 8,000 are talking about Paradigm Mall (albeit some negativity). Bad publicity is still publicity, it's just something the Management probably never anticipated. The GM of the mall eventually posted a public apology, and Malaysians being Malaysians, are still throwing rocks at them, but never the less, things have pretty much simmered and died down for a while.

I have met the mall's Project Manager before, and I have listened and watched his expressions and body language. He is a genuine person, a good guy. I have seen him wearing a reflective vest, waving and directing traffic at the busy inter-section just outside the mall on a weekend. I am convinced that this guy is really trying his very best to make things work, even if his job is going to fucking rocky. I have talked to the mall's customer service and the guys there are cool, and even cracked jokes with me about the very confusing basement car park.

No establishment this big would want to open just to watch it fail. Their recent opening on the 23rd May 2012 is merely a soft opening, and it just means that we should expect some kinks here and there. Paradigm Mall actually managed to get about 90% of their tenants, ready for business, at the time of the soft opening. I was impressed actually, because not every mall can do that. Take a look at Tropicana CityMall for instance. When they first opened their doors, the mall had barely 50% of their tenants. Until today, they still can't achieve 100%.

But I guess some folks failed to see some of the good side of things. So the mall isn't perfect, but what is? I'm sure they are trying their darndest best to improve in every aspect they see possible. So really, it's not about the mall, but the ones behind its Facebook account that should be held accountable.

Trollers should also learn that their actions only depict their poor sense of social etiquette, as there is no point in giving nonconstructive comments. Constructive feedback should be given, not just one-liner lines, which just reflects poorly on a person's articulation towards the subject at hand. You want to give your feedback, articulate it properly. Give constructive feedback, get constructive replies. Communication on any social media platform is always two-way, and there will be a percentage of folks who uses platforms like Facebook as their personal whining playground.

Paradigm Mall, lesson learnt, time to stand up and shape up. It's going to a rough road ahead for you guys after this little hiccup, but never the less, with perseverance and the right people manning your team, I'm sure you can garner back the support and confidence from the public. Here's wishing you all the best, and I look forward to see all the improvements you can make this make this neighbourhood a success!