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Friday, January 30, 2009

Food Review - Ah Loy's Curry Noodles and Asam Laksa


Name
Kedai Makanan Ah Loy (Lunch and Dinner)
Address
11-13, Jalan Hujan Rahmat 3, OUG.
Food
Curry Noodles and Asam Laksa
Location
OUG, Old Klang Road

Getting there
Take the normal route as you would toward the OUG wet market. The shop is located diagonally across from the BHP Petrol Station. Parking
DO NOT go on Thursdays! This is because the Pasar Malam (Night Market) is there on Thursdays. You will get caught in a massive gridlock on Thursdays. On other days, traffic is also quite heavy. There are many parking bays in the area but getting a spot would be a challenge as parking is VERY haphazard, so you need to be patient.

Service
No frills and quick altho’ you might need to wait for about 10-20 minutes for the food to be served – depending on the crowd.

Ambience
The place is old, but clean enough to have a comfortable meal. The inner section is air-conditioned.
Taste & Presentation
I have to say I really LOVED the fried noodles more than any other item from their menu. I find myself keep going back to the fried Tai Look Mee. The way they had cooked it has the thick yummy gravy seeped into the noodles – the way it should be.

Variety
They have quite a number of items including Yong Tau Foo and desserts (like Hung Dau Sui) but they are famous for their Curry Noodles and Asam Laksa. You will get a better idea when you are at the place as the paper clippings are all over the walls. Their wait staff will also be able to assist you if you are at a loss as to what to order. Value for Money
Almost all the items from their menu is under RM5 each. ‘Nuff said.
Overall
Great place to eat. Great taste and great value. The only thing I don’t like is the parking.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Comic Review - Elektra Saga 1-4


Title/StorylineElektra Saga
Publish Date/Year
1984
Creative TeamFrank Miller & Klaus Janson
Issue (s)
1-4
Publisher
Marvel

StoryMost of you (including non-comic readers) have heard of the upstart called Frank Miller for his ground-breaking work that include Sin City, 300 and more recently the Spirit Movie.

He is one of the very few living legends in the literary/comics world. Altho’ I don’t care much for his art work, I must admit his story telling skills (writing, pacing and art direction/layouts) are indeed awe-inspiring.

The Elektra Saga is a reprint of excerpts from over 20 issues of his Daredevil issues from the 80s. This 4-issue series lets you see how he made Elektra one of the greatest and most 3-dimensional supporting characters in comics. Here you will also see how Miller had elevated DD to an A-List character.

We learn of how Matt Murdock meets the 1st love of his life in college and the events that led Elektra to become the ruthless assassin that she is today – courtesy of Stick’s secret band of Ninja Warriors and the Evil Ninja Clan – the Hand. Elektra’s personal journey separates her from Matt but her assignments eventually lead her back to New York where her path crosses with Matt’s (whom by now had become Daredevil – Protector of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen).

Her return to New York and conflict involving DD and the Hand eventually gets the attention of the Kingpin, NY’s under-world big boss, who eventually becomes Elektra’s boss. We also learn of her death at the hands of Bullseye (who didn’t like the idea that Elektra had replaced him as Kingpin’s #1 assassin) and resurrection by the Hand.

ArtI am not much of a Miller fan in terms of his art work but as I had said, his layouts and storytelling skills are among the best in the industry.

Additional CommentsThis is a GREAT read by any standard. I had read this over 15 years ago and it is still such a great read today. The highest possible recommendation from me. If only Hollywood had made this story into a movie instead of that horrid one that bombed, we would see more of Elektra on the big screens today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Movie Review - 1408

What about 1804?
Movie Title
1408
Year
2007
Genre
Horror, Thriller

Story
Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a disillusioned horror book writer because of his estrangement from his dad and the recent death of his daughter had caused a strain to his marriage. He is at the moment living on his own in California and working on his next horror book but he is seeking inspiration.

He finds it at the Dolphin Hotel’s room 1408. Hotel Manager Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson) tries his hardest to convince Mike to not spend the night in the room. The room has had a horrific history of taking the lives of numerous of its past guests. Of course, it doesn’t happen. If not, there’d be no movie!
So to Mike’s regret, he begins to realize this was not some kind of hoax and understands the real horror of what room 1408 truly is. The only bit that didn’t really sit well with me was that it was not explained how the room got to be so evil and who some of the apparitions were.

Acting
You can expect the same level of performance from Cusack and Jackson (a little over the top as usual from him). Believable, you will be drawn into the story.
Overall
Quite a good movie, but then again, I almost always like anything with John Cusack in it. It was quite scary in some parts but ‘cos I am not really a horror movie buff, I can’t really say for the really hard-core horror fans.

Rating: 6.0/10

Friday, January 23, 2009

Movie Review - 10,000 BC

Getting Busy in 10,000 BC
Movie Title
10,000 BC
Year
2008
Genre
Action, Adventure

Story
The story’s quite similar to Apocalypto. Members of the hero’s (D'Leh played by Steven Strait) tribe of mammoth hunters are slaughtered and captured by horse-riding raiders for a more advanced society and then used as slaves for the advanced civilization’s purposes. D’Leh somehow escaped capture and it falls to him to rescue the captive tribe members, which includes the love of his life - Evolet (Camilla Belle). Along the way, D’Leh manages to gather help from other tribes whose members also fall prey to the same horse-riding raiders. Hence, they form a rag-tag team of rescuers and head toward the horse-riding raiders’ final destination (which appears to look a lot like ancient Egypt) for the rescue and final showdown. There are elements of mysticism and fulfillment of a prophecy from the tribe’s witch doctor called Old Mother.
The bit I had trouble swallowing was D’Leh’s tribe was based in what appears to be the Northern European snow-capped mountains but the horse-riding raiders went to such a lengths and dragged the tribal captives who traveled on foot from Northern Europe to the deserts of Egypt. That was quite a stretch and a bit too much.

Acting
Based on the genre, viewers should know not to expect award winning performances from the cast. That being said, the acting’s pretty OK.
Overall
I don’t normally do this but I had heard and seen some pretty negative feedback on this movie. So I went for it having very low expectations. Maybe that’s why it was not as bad for me. The leads, D'Leh and Evolet (Camilla Belle) were very easy on the eyes. The creatures were quite well designed and animated, with the exception of the saber-tooth tiger (well, you must have seen the trailers…). If you are able to put these minor flaws aside and view it with an open mind, it can be quite entertaining.

Rating: 5.5/10

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Food Review - New Formosa Restaurant

Name
New Formosa Restaurant (Jeannie Lee 019 3353 274)
Address
46, Jalan 2/24, 47300 PJ.
Food
Taiwanese Cuisine
Location
SS 2, PJ

Getting there
If you are coming from the Rothmans roundabout in Section 19, go along the way towards SS2. Go past the 2 traffic light junctions and immediately after, you will see another cluster of shop lots on your left, diagonally across from the RHB Bank or opposite the Mobil Petrol Station.
Parking
There is adequate parking as there are many bays available in front and at the back of the shop lots for diners. However, the scenario may be different during lunch.
Service
Service is prompt and they have enough wait staff to provide the level of attention and service diners may require.
Ambience
The place is extremely well kept, clean and brightly lit, with glass panels at the side walls. From the inside, you can’t tell that this place has been in operations here at the same premises for over 20 years.






Taste & Presentation The food is not only presented in a very attractive and creative ways (please look at the Steamed Mashed Yam w Pumpkin & Ginko Nuts picture and Crab with Black Glutinous Rice) but the dishes themselves are unique stories in themselves.
Many of them have a long history and the different incarnations they have each gone thru in the “Malaysianization” and the evolution (eg: less use of lard, fatty meats, organic ingredients, less sugar, etc.) of the dishes.
Variety
I’m not really familiar with Taiwanese cuisine but from what I was able to see, what can I say? I was totally blown away not only by the variety available but also the number of unique and creative types of preparation. I had the good fortune to sample the following:
- Bamboo Yam Rice
- Crab with Black Glutinous Rice
- Fried Asparagus with Ginko Nuts and Pumpkin
- Braised Pig Trotters with Seafood
- Hunanese Ham in honey Sauce & Man Tou
- Steamed Canadian Seabass Teochew Style
- Special 5-Season Combo
o Butter Eel
o Deep Fried Pig Intestines
o Garlic Prawns
o Jiang Nan Duck
o Popped Rice Crust with mushrooms & Seaweed
- Steamed prawns in herbal soup
Desert
- Sweet Yam in caramelized honey dipped in ice
- Steamed Mashed Yam w Pumpkin & Ginko Nuts
- Muachi in 6 flavors
Value for Money
If you are looking for something that is different and give you something that would pleasantly surprise you, this is the place to be. You can get a good variety in the dining packages that they offer, averaging RM50-70 per person. Good value.

Overall
Highly recommended. Please go and ask them for their house specialties.

For more blog entries on this place, you may visit these sites:

http://ipohwav3.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/new-formosa-restaurant-ss2-pj/

http://www.goeatout.com.my/Restaurants/Promotions/agentType/View/PropertyID/25562.aspx

Friday, January 16, 2009

Comic Review - Rann-Thanagar Holy War

Title/Storyline
Rann-Thanagar Holy War
Publish Date/Year
2008
Creative Team
Jim Starlin, Ron Lim, Rick Leonardi & Al Milgrom
Issue (s)
1-8, Adam Strange Special, Hawkman Special
Publisher
DC
22% OFF Volume 1:http://astore.amazon.com/eareotbi-20/detail/1401222544
32% OFF Volume 2:http://astore.amazon.com/eareotbi-20/detail/1401225039
Story
The recalcitrant people of Rann and Thanagar are at it again after the events of 52 and Countdown – back at war! This time with religious fervor. The Rannians have found an unfamiliar faith in the being called Lady Styx while the Thanagarians have been brainwashed and are hell-bent in bringing the Nameless One to the physical plane with the aid of their fanatical spiritual leader Deacon Dark They succeed in bringing back the Nameless One in the form of Synnar, a Mongul power-class villain.
Caught in the middle are the same characters from 52, Countdown and the earlier Rann-Thanagar War: Adam Strange & Hawkman
Comet & The Weird
Starman IV of Throneworld (not the JSA Starman – see picture)
Starfire & Animal Man
Bizarro (you have to read the issues to see how and why).
Tigorr (of the Omega Men)
By the end of the series, we would have seen the destruction of Throneworld by Lady Styx’s forces and of Rann by Adam Strange. Yes, it’s hard to believe but you have to read the series to know the how & whys.

This series leaves quite a few significant changes that I think would be felt throughout the DC Universe for the next couple of years. It also introduces a major DC villain – the Nameless One. I foresee him to become a villain in the same class & threat level as Darkseid very soon. (just think of it as kind of a DC version of Thanos – a multi-universal threat.)
Art
Lim’s art has not changed much from his Silver Surfer days from the 90s.I must admit I have never been a fan of his but he was a big gun in the 90s. You will see that his styled had been the template for a lot of artists (especially artists from the 90s Image stable – which kind of explains the success or lack of it thereof).

Still, credit where it’s due, his art was influential and is pleasant to look at.
Al Milgrom – Those familiar with Milgrom’s work will know that his work is un-impressive at best. The same can be said for his work here. However Marvel used to rely on him for fill in issues for books that risk missed deadlines. He was also one of the senior/key editors during Jim Shooter’s reign at Marvel.

Rick Leonardi – Another old-timer. I quite liked his work back in the day. His work was very unique as you can pick out his style easily and it looked quite good. Unfortunately, his style never quite appealed to the fandom in general.
Additional Comments
Starlin does not stray far from what he knows he does best – intergalactic conflict with fanatical religious undertones that fuel the conflicts. So here it’s basically the same thing but with different characters from DC. The one thing I find really interesting was the revelation about Hawkman’s rich but complicated history. This was presented in the Hawkman Special. It’s my favorite issue of the whole bunch although Milgrom’s art really left a lot to be desired.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Comic Review - The Kingdom

Title/Storyline
The Kingdom
Publish Date/Year
1999
Creative Teams
Mark Waid & Various Artists
Issue (s)
Various
Publisher
DC

Story

This is a sequel to the highly successful Kingdom Come story.

Here, we witness Gog’s relentless & ruthless murder of Superman (Supermen) from the various realities, beginning from the Kingdom Come reality that a possible alternate future, progressing rapidly back to the present. After having killed dozens of Supermen, we see Gog about to kill the Kingdom Come Superman. However, when he sees Superman and Wonder Woman’s son, Gog decides to take their son instead. Needless to say, Superman, WW and Batman go in pursuit of Gog to rescue the baby. There is a catch however - their reality will be wiped out regardless whether they succeed or not. This is because if they follow Gog thru time, they would disrupt the timestream and the result is their reality will be wiped out. If they do not follow Gog back in time to stop his plans, their reality will never even be possible.

Before we get to see how the heroes, with the help of Rip Hunter, stop Gog, we get to see the different heroes and the CafĂ© called Planet Krypton (in separate special issues) that will play key roles in Gog’s eventual defeat:

Offspring – Plastic Man’s son (believe it or not)
Nightstar – Nightwing & Starfire’s daughter
Son of the Bat – The name says it!
Kid Flash – Flash’s daughter
Planet Krypton – the seemingly insignificant Super-Hero themed cafe

Art
(#1) Ariel Olivetti – Very good work from Olivetti provided you are used to the rather stiff style that is more suited for pin-ups/covers.
(#2) Mike Zeck – Well, I had never quite liked his work but he used to be very big when he did the Punisher and Secret Wars. Still turned in competent stuff.
(Offspring) Frank Quitely – Altho’ I don’t quite like his style, this is still un-mistakably good art from him. Quitely fans can add this one to their collections!
(Kid Flash) Mark Pajarillo – why this guy was ever made an artist doing work for DC is a deep mystery to me. Really poor quality art that doesn’t fir in with the rest of the issues.
(Nightstar) Matt Haley – Reminiscent of Terry Dodson’s super sexy and clean lines combined with the details of Mike McKone. Great Stuff! Wish we can see more of his art these days.
(Planet Krypton) Barry Kitson – Another big name that I don’t quite like but he is a frequent collaborator of Waid’s (eg; Empire & Legion of Super-Heroes).
(Son of the Bat) Brian Apthorp – another relatively unknown (well to me at least!) but this guy does SUPERB work. Looks kind of like JG Jones work. Great stuff!

Additional Comments
In the storyline, we get to see the Linear Men of which Rip Hunter is a member. We are also introduced to Hypertime in the DC vocabulary where the multiple universes concept is revived I believe for the first time since Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Food Review - Hao Wei Dao

Name
Hao Wei Dao
Food
Fusion Food (Non-Halal)
Location
Taman Desa, Old Klang Road

Getting there
I would classify that there are 4 shop-lot clusters in Taman Desa:
- The cluster near the Hospital/Bomba (Fire Brigade)
- The cluster at Telekom Malaysia/Faber Towers
- The cluster near Danau Desa Police Station
- The cluster near Shell Station

This place is tucked neatly away in the newer area of shop lots near the Shell Station cluster, on the same row with Watson’s.
Parking
There are ample parking bays around the shop-lots.

Service
Service is rather quick. However, the menu simply has too many items. First time visitors may be overwhelmed by the selection available to them.

Ambience
The place is clean and brightly lit with a prominently placed red carpet to welcome guests as they walk in. The place is not too big. The seating arrangement is very open as they are all lined up straight but I find that a tad boring.
Taste
The items here taste simply fantastic! We ordered the Butter Garlic Pork Rib Rice and the Brinjal (Eggplant) Sliced Pork in Soy Bean Rice.
The Butter Garlic Pork Rib gravy that was smothered on the rice was thick and flavorful. They were very generous with it. As for the minced pork on brinjal, the taste was just right.

Presentation
The pictures speak for themselves. Very nice!
Variety
There are so many items on the menu that I would not be able to do it justice by trying to list them here but they can be broadly categorized into
- Rice
- Noodles
I think there are literally over a hundred menu items there!

Value for Money
Good value combined with good taste and variety! Definitely worth a visit or a re-visit.

Overall
What are you waiting for? Go out and try it already!