Thursday, April 29, 2010

Food Review - Hoagies @ Sooka Sentral

Hoagies @ Sooka Sentral
Sooka Sentral

Getting There
Situated on the ground floor of Sooka Sentral (which is a peculiar looking building located right next to the KL transport hub KL Sentral & the Hilton KL). You can’t miss it as it is at a prominent corner facing the Star Anise CafĂ© and the main escalators.

Ample parking is available at the Sooka Sentral area buildings or the open-air car-park right outside Sooka Sentral itself.

Set up like a fast food joint (but in truth, they serve the food to you instead of self-service), it has a modern sleek and clean look but the lighting is relatively softer than a typical fast food joint, giving it a classier feel missing from burger joints.

The staff is very friendly and helpful although some of them are non-Malaysians.

Firstly, for those unfamiliar with the term Hoagies, you may replace the word with submarine sandwich or hero sandwich. They Hoagies taste REALLY GOOD (but of course this only applies to people who love all forms of breads)! But, Non-Lovers of breads fear not, they also offer rice and noodle dishes with the same flavors (or so they tell me)!

The chicken used is always tender and blend well with the sauces they offer. Together, they create a tantalizing burst of flavours and textures regardless if you are trying the hoagies or the rice.

The Quadro Coffee is to die for! It’s a much cooler variation of the tri-color coffee/tea available at some coffee shops as it has an additional layer of froth (on top of the coffee, milk & Gula Melaka) that makes it ALMOST impossible to resist diving in immediately!

Served in dainty looking baskets lined with a customized Hoagies waxed paper regardless if you order the Hoagies or rice dishes, the presentation makes you want to dive in for the food the moment it is served. Nice.

As for the drinks, well, something must be said about the human psyche that when we see a beverage that comes in multiple layers of colors, somehow we want to quickly stir it up and see what other colors would appear next!

There are quite a number of items on the menu and for first-timers, you might be at a loss as to the items to order. However, they wait staff would be able to help you decide as they are friendly and helpful. There are hoagies, rice and even noodle dishes. They come in various flavors such as:
- Thai Spice
- Barcelona (or Buttermilk)
- Napoleon
- Spicy Garlic
- Portuguese

I would recommend the ones we tried – Barcelona (rich, creamy and slightly sweet), Thai (Sweet & Sour) & Portuguese (rich, creamy, slightly sweet & tangy) flavors.

Value For Money
The food is priced at the fast food category price points. Which makes it very affordable.

It's a refreshing alternative for those who want something quick & fuss-free but don't want to go back to the typical burger joint for the Value Meals.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Food Review - Peel Road Char Siew Rice

Peel Road Char Siew Rice (Lunch Only; Closed on Thursdays)
Char Siew, Chicken, Siew Yoke
Peel Road, Cheras (Beside the Shell Station)

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 situated within an old ramshackle hut with aluminum roof that is facing Queen’s Park
Parking is a breeze as Carrefour and the road-side parking bays offer free parking or you may opt to perk at the Queen’s Park across the street.

As is typical for these Chinese rice stalls, you may go to the stall to place your orders. However, because they also serve other dishes such as steamed fish head and Pork Trotters in Vinegar (Chue Keok Cho), they also take orders at the table when they are not overwhelmed with customers who are waiting for their take-away orders. Be prepared to wait as sometimes, you may need to wait for the food.

Similar to most of the eateries along Peel Road, the place is old and run down! The plastic tables and chairs are rather new, so that helps.

Although there are quite a few places reputed to have good Char Siew (such as the ones at Tengkat Tong Shin & Section 17, PJ), this one is not the best BUT is still pretty good! They use the choice marbled pork loin parts for their Char Siew (that’s prepared freash daily from the back of the hut) and when you sit in proximity, the aroma tempting is enough to shatter a vegetarian’s resolve to abstain from meat!

You are advised to arrive early – preferably before 12.00-12.30pm to avoid disappointment. Previously, I had many disappointing visits as they had already finished their food even before I could sit down. However, lately, I think they have started to prepare more food to cater to the demand as I had been able to eat there several times recently.

Mention must also be made for the chili sauce that MUST go with the meal. It has a zesty tang combined with a subtle sweetness that makes going for a second helping a delight.

The food is served on colored plastic-ware, quite standard for fare of this type but no less appetizing.
Besides the standard items such as Chicken, Char Siew, Siew Yoke, they also offer steamed fish head, braised chicken feet and pork trotters in vinegar.
Value for Money
Pretty reasonable at standard prices of under RM5 per plate of rice with no frills added.
Really good food here, as the crowds and waiting time can attest. If you have not tried the food here, I suggest you give it a go! You will come back for more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Movie Review - Cloverfield

Movie Title
Action, Sci-Fi

Cloverfield starts with a video recording playback of Rob (Michael Stahl-David) videotaping Beth (Odette Yustman) & himself starting the day before heading off to Coney Island. The tape cuts to Rob's brother, Jason (Mike Vogel), who is using the same camera to document Rob's surprise going-away party at Rob’s apartment organized by Jason’s girlfriend, Lily (Jessica Lucas). Jason then gets Rob's best friend, Hud (T.J. Miller) to videotape the party in his stead, but Hud is preoccupied with trying to hit on Marlena (Lizzy Caplan). During the party, Beth arrives at the party with someone else, breaking Rob’s heart. They get into a fight and Beth promptly leaves the party. Then, a shock jolts what felt like the entire city of Manhattan. The party rushes to the roof to see an explosion in the distance and everyone was fleeing for their lives to the streets.
Hud continues to film and captures the image of a monstrous shadow belonging to the giant (see image for size) monster that caused all the mayhem & destruction. The monster knocks over buildings, while everyone in the city decides to evacuate Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge. However, before they do the Bridge is destroyed by the monster, thereby cutting off their means of escape.

Meanwhile the military responds with the city being locked-down under martial law. With no way forward, they scurry back toward Manhattan until the military can resolve the problem. Our protagonists seek refuge in the subway tunnels when Rob gets a phone message from Beth, who is still trapped in her apartment across the city. As they make their way to save Beth, news footages from show the monster shedding smaller creatures from its back that attack humans. They finally managed to come across a military base in a now-abandoned shopping mall. The military warns them that the last helicopters leave Manhattan within the hour. However they managed to save Beth but as they make their way of the island on a helicopter, they are brought down by the monster.

I totally got sucked into the chaotic and terrifying world of the party-goers as the scenario doesn’t really lend itself to really serious acting chops from its cast but they do a competent enough job that it doesn’t distract viewers. So overall, kudos to the cast.

In the same vein as the pseudocumentary as Blair Witch Project and District 9, the movie is seen from the perspective of a protagonist’s view-cam but in the flavor of the classic horror & sci-fi cross-genre flick like War of the Worlds mixed with the Japanese monster movies a la Godzilla. It flows pretty much in a near-linear fashion like the excellent TV series 24.and tells the story of events from a single night. Cloverfield never really feels like a movie but is a really brilliant piece of storytelling work. Producer JJ Abrams said he wanted to do “something insane and intense” and in my mind, he has achieved it in spades.

I did not see it but at the very end of the credits, there is a short static transmission that apparently says "It's still alive." when played backwards. Go ahead and watch it again and see if you see it!
Rating: 7.5/10
Order your copy here at 40% OFF:
Cloverfield [Blu-ray]