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Friday, February 27, 2009

Food Review - Lilian Bak Kut Teh



















NameLilian Bak Kut Teh
Food
Bak Kut Teh
Location
Klang – Nearby the Klang Jusco
Getting There
This is a tricky one because I am not entirely familiar with Klang. The landmark to look out for is the Jusco that is visible from the Federal Highway if you are entering Klang from KL. Once on the road that leads to Jusco, just follow the road until you pass Jusco on your left (with the Fed Hwy directly behind). The road is an anti-clockwise semi circle that leads back to the Fed Hwy. The restaurant is at a row of shops at a left turning just before the Fed Hwy.

ParkingAmple parking on the street in front of the restaurant.
Service
Service is warm and friendly as it is a family run business where you will be served by “uncles” and “aunties”.

Taste
The rice was fluffy and nicely done, not clumpy. The BKT and the soup was very fragrant- which makes it hard to resist. I personally prefer the non-clay-pot version because the flavors are stronger as there are no vegetables or Tau Pok, etc to “water down” the flavors. However, it is still very good BKT.
Ambience & PresentationIt is quite an old place but it is very well ventilated, kept and clean. A point to note is the way Chinese Tea is served because it is very different from how KL/PJ does it. The hot water re-fill kettle is placed on top of a gas tank right next to the guests’ tables where guests are expected to self-serve. Guests are given the clay tea-pot, traditional tiny tea cups and a small pot complete with a quaint little strainer for guests to filter out the tea leaves from the beverage.

Variety
The BKT is available in the standard clay-pot or non-clay-pot varieties. We ordered the clay-pot version with the works (ie: Mushrooms, lettuce, Foo Juk, Tau Pok, different parts, etc).

Rice is a must to go with the fragrant BKT soup. The rice comes in a plastic plate but there are condiments that are a must for the rice – the fried shallots! For added oomph, some like to add the black soy sauce, chili padi and chopped garlic to the meal.
Value for Money
Under RM50 for 2 pots of BKT with rice, vege and Chinese Tea. Go try it!
Overall
Good BKT. It’s not the best but Klang is after all BKT paradise. So, you can’t really go wrong. Good food at good prices in a quaint little place that serves up a dose of nostalgia.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Food Review - Restaurant Mei Sin (Hor Fun with Shredded Chicken Meat & Lum Mee)

Name
Restaurant Mei Sin
Address
16, Medan Imbi, 55100 KL.
Food
Hor Fun with Shredded Chicken Meat
Lum Mee
Location
North of Jalan Imbi

View Larger Map
Getting There
Once you spot the tiny field that marks the Medan Imbi, you will see it as it occupies the prominent corner shop of Medan Imbi. It is also diagonally across from the famous Soo Kee Beef Noodles and directly opposite the 7-11.

Parking
There are ample parking spaces either at the road side or at any of the nearby open-air parking lots available.

Service
As you can expect from stalls that operate from within a coffee shop, the service is quick and efficient. However, do take note if you are there during peak hours as that may lengthen the wait.

Ambience
It is a very old coffee shop (2 shop lots) with many tables and stalls tightly packed within the limited space. However, this will be reminiscent of the nostalgic coffee shops/kopitiams that are all the rage these days. This is the real deal.

Taste
The soy sauce is key to the taste of the complete package. Excellent stuff this! The Lum Mee is also one of the better ones around where the ingredients are generously included and the gravy is just at the right thickness, not watery like some places .
Presentation
It doesn’t make excuses for what it is or isn’t. It is just simply and neatly presented as the shredded chicken is nicely arranged on top of the dry noodles soaked in soy sauce with a generous sprinkling of freshly cut spring onions and deep fried garlic on top! Yummy!


Variety
This stall only prepares 1 item but they do it oh so well! However, there are of course other stalls that sell Chicken Rice, Pan Mee, Lum Mee, Siew Pau, Fried Kuey Teow, etc.


Value for Money
For either the Hor Fun or Lum Mee, both are under RM5 – everybody can afford it!

Overall
Great tasting and cheap. That’s a killer combo that must make me label these 2 as must tries!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Movie Review - Burn After Reading

Movie Title
Burn After Reading
Year
2008
Genre
Comedy
Story
The movie starts off with several seemingly un-related threads that eventually come together. However, the time it took for the audience to see how they are all inter-related is simply too excruciatingly painful.

Osbourne Cox (a tired & always angry John Malkovich) is a senior CIA officer who was basically put into cold storage. Hence, he quits and starts to write a memoir of his experience with the agency. Meanwhile, his wife, Katie Cox (the villainous-looking venom-spouting Tilda Swinton) is secretly having an affair with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney ) and had planned to get a divorce from Osbourne Cox. It was during one of her visits to her divorce lawyer’s office that she accidentally drops a CD with Top Secret CIA data from Osbourne’s memoirs into the lawyer’s gym bag.

Gym staff Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) & Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) picks up the CD that was left outside the locker room and decides to use it to get some reward money from the owner. However, things go really awry and we get to see how they all are related.

Acting
Of course the acting is superb, especially from McDormand. Pitt and Clooney seem pretty comfortable in their roles here. Perhaps it’s because they have done this before… And Malkovich is his usual angry self.

Overall

Brad Pitt and George Clooney fans are sure to be looking out to stone me but they didn’t really do much to help alleviate the movie from the mire it was in. OK, you can safely conclude that I’m not a big fan of the Coen Brothers’ work.

Don’t waste your time on this unless you are:
A: a fan of either George Clooney or Brad Pitt and thus, must see every single one of their movies.
B: a Coen Brothers fan and thus, must see every single one of their movies.

Rating: 4/10

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Movie Review - Taken

The Bad Guys finally learn that To Give is waaay better than To Take...
Movie Title
Taken
Year
2008
Genre
Action Thriller

Story
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a divorced ex-Black Ops (or another similar type govt agency) Agent who gave up his life of danger and patriotism for the well-being of his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace – who looked very familiar because she was the highly irritating Shannon Rutherford from LOST) & estranged wife Lenore (played by a very tired looking Famke Janssen).

As part of her birthday celebrations, Kim and her best friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy) had planned a trip to Europe as U2 Tour groupies but because she is still under-aged, she needs Bryan, her biological father’s consent. Hence, he gave it reluctantly and with certain conditions, like – call him when she arrives at the airport, hotel, etc. It was during one such call in Paris that he hears Kim & Amanda in the process of being abducted by human traffickers.

Using his past experience and contacts, he traces the call to Paris where he only has 96 hours to find Kim before she disappears forever.

Acting
Liam seems tired and old but he still kicks @$$. Well, if we could believe Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, we could accept this.

Overall
Reminiscent of Harrison Ford and Jackie Chan movies where at first glance, it doesn’t look like the good guy has any chance in defeating the bad guys. However, in this case, Neeson is a whole lot more meaner and menacing than Ford or Chan. Overall, quite a good action flick if you can manage to suspend your belief of certain parts of the movie – like how Bryan seems to be able to get away with wreaking so much havoc in the heart of Paris & how Kim manages to get back to a normal life without being traumatized by the loss of her best friend – Amanda.

Rating: 6/10

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Comic Review - Final Crisis 1-7

Title/Storyline
Final Crisis 1-7
Publish Date
2008
Creative Team(s)
Grant Morrison, JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, Doug Mahnke and others
Publisher
DC

Story
This series really started off with a bang. In the very 1st issue, I was really upset to see 1 of my favorite Justice Leaguers (J’onn J’onzz) killed off in a very un-dignified manner – without any suspense or build-up. He was just killed by the villains. It was very realistic and very disturbing. He was not the only major character (heroes and villains alike) to bite the dust. As most would know, Batman is one of the major casualties of the series. However, one piece of good news is that Barry Allen (Flash) who had died over 20 years ago in Crisis on Infinite Earths, seems to be making a comeback to the DC Universe.

The New Gods of Apokolips are staging a major come-back but on Earth, heralding the 5th World (The New Genesis and Apokolips we all know was the 4th World). In the process, endangers both the Bleed & the Multiverse. That’s why even the Monitors are involved.

However, the story is too big to be contained in a mere 7 issues because the story becomes very disjointed very quickly. By issue 4, I did not quite know half of what was going on. One jarring example was how Wonder Woman became a Fury in Darkseid’s camp. These stories are, I’m sure, told in the peripheral mini series but if they were, there should’ve at least be footnotes to indicate so to help fans who only obtained the main series.

The good thing about Final Crisis is that many characters (obscure ones and including ones nobody would expect – Capt Carrot and the Zoo Crew! Seriously!) are brought back to the DC Universe in a context that made sense and that bodes well for some really exciting times ahead. Anthro, Kamandi, the Guardians of OA and Tawky Tawny (Yup, you read that right) all make appearances in the series.

Art
JG Jones' art is flawless (just look at the covers) but as the issues progress, more artists are roped in to help handle the art chores around the middle of the series and that’s when the art began to seriously deteriorate.

Additional Comments
This series would no doubt have serious ramifications to the DC Universe for a long time to come. In that sense, this is a significant story. The story is also told in very different way from any other epics of this nature as the battles were not given much screen time. If the main series was made into 10 or 12 issues, it would’ve been a better & coherent read for fans.

Overall, the 7 issues won’t be an easy read but read it for the significance it would hold for much of the DC Universe for quite some time to come. Read it for the fantastic JG Jones' art.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Movie Review - Outlander

Movie Title
Outlander
Year
2008
Genre
Sci-Fi, Adventure

Story
Kainan’s (James Caviezel) ship crash lands on Earth in the year 709AD near a couple of rival Norse clans. However, things are a little more complicated – Kainan had brought a nasty killing machine of a beast called a Moorwen, whom he describes to the Norsemen as a Dragon. It can be best described as a cross between an Alien and a dog. The Moorwen slaughters Gunnar’s (Ron Perlman or better known as Hellboy) entire village for food while the men folk were out. Kainan arrives too late on the trail of the Moorwen, and the rival clan, led by Wulfric (Jack Huston) captures him, thinking he was the aggressor. They bring him back to their village nearby. They all eventually learn the truth (including Gunnar and his clansmen, who initially thought it was Wulfric’s clan that killed his people)
They eventually join forces to hunt and destroy the monster.
Parts of the movie will remind you of Beowulf (the one with Angelina Jolie), Predator. & even Lord of the Rings (where Frodo finds his way past the Spider’s Cave)
Acting
Most of the actors are relatively unknowns. Somehow, although this is a Sci-Fi alien monster movie, there is slight a B-Grade feel to it. Perhaps it’s the direction or the script.
Overall
The premise is an interesting one indeed – Sci-fi set in the Iron Age.
However, it’s not the best Sci-Fi out there although the CGI is quite impressive (Check out the Moorwen design - interesting), it's not the worst either but still can be enjoyed by Sci-Fi or Adventure fans.

Unfortunately, this was quite forgettable. The powers that be had cleverly left a possibility for a sequel or a prequel. There is moch potential in exploring the relationship between Kainan's people and the Moorwen because the flashback scene simply left many more potentially explosive movie ideas (like the Starship Troopers).

Rating: 5/10

Food Review - Peel Road Satay

Name
Peel Road Satay (Dinner only)
Address
At the Peel Road/Jalan Shelly Traffic Light Junction
Food
Satay (Halal)
Location
Opposite the Peel Road Carrefour/Queen’s Park
Getting there
You need to locate the prominent landmarks there, namely:
- Carrefour at Peel Road
- Shell Station at Peel Road/Jalan Shelly Traffic Light Junction
- Queen’s Park

Once you have located any of these landmarks, you can then proceed to look for the stall that is facing Carrefour.

Parking
Parking is a breeze as Carrefour and the street parking bays offer free parking.

Service
As per normal Satay stalls, you need to go to the stall to place your orders.

Ambience
Strictly for locals only! This is because the place is filthy (unless you go inside the Queen’s Park coffee shop, which is only slightly better)! The tables and chairs are old and the place itself is infested with rats the size of small dogs (OK, I lie, but they are big.)

So unless you have a strong tolerance for this type of environs, I’m afraid it’s not for you.
Taste
Great stuff (but beware of the piece of fat/chicken skin on each skewer)! This is a great substitute for those who don’t want to make a long trip to Kajang for the good satay. I’d rate it equally as good. One of the best Satay places I had tried in the Klang Valley.

There are always customers waiting in a queue for the take-away satay to be ready and the sit-down diners would usually need to wait about 20-30 minutes before the food is served. Beef is a must (even if you swear by Chicken)!
Presentation
The different varieties are separated and the accompanying cucumber/onions/ketupat is art the side on a polystyrene plate while the kuah is served in tiny polystyrene bowls-for-1. The only bit I don’t like is the use of polystyrene.

Variety
You have the standard chicken, beef and mutton varieties.

Value for Money
Same as other stalls – RM0.60/stick.

Overall
Have a craving for some good satay but don’t want to drive to Kajang? This is a great place to sate those hunger pangs! Go and go often!