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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Food Review - Tiong Nam Fish Head Noodles


NameTiong Nam Fish Head Noodles/Bak Kut TehAddress & Location
Tiong Nam/PWTC
Food
Fish Head Noodles, Bak Kut Teh
Getting there
This place is stone’s throw away from PWTC, Legend Hotel and the Mall. It’s located at a prominent corner on Jalan Tiong Nam. As this place is located within the Tiong Nam enclave, it’s a little complicated to describe here because the entire area is riddled with multiple tiny lanes, in the same manner as what you would find if you traveled to a village (hence the nostalgic feel).
It can also be a little complicated to drive there despite having been there several times. Please refer to the map for the exact location.
Parking
Parking can be a hassle if you are competing wit the lunch crowd. If you get there before them, then there are lots of street-side parking spaces in the vicinity. There is also an open space parking lot conveniently located directly opposite the eatery.
Service
The service is quick and no fuss! The food comes rather quickly (unless you are caught in the lunch crowd which then changes things considerably – try to get there before 12.15pm)
Diners are given hot water in the standard plastic bowl to clean your cups and utensils.
Ambience
Tucked in a prominent corner within the Tiong Nam enclave, this is a typical traditional no-frills Chinese eatery – old, a little run down, but busy and gives you that nostalgic feel good buzz as it brings you back to the good old times you remember when you were growing up in more innocent times.
You will find the typical plastic/wooden round-top tables with multi-colored plastic chairs. It may not appeal to the younger Pappa Rich/Starbucks crowds but the jam packed crowds during lunch is testament to this place’s longevity!
Taste
The inclusion of seafood in the clay-pot fish head noodles is a big draw for the patrons! Although the taste is not as strong as the fish head noodles of Ho A One in Taman Desa (http://jmerb.blogspot.com/2009/05/food-review-ho-one-seafood-steamboat.html), you know that the food has all of its flavor from the seafood naturally. Despite my love for strongly flavored food, I still like the taste this place offers.
Vermicelli (the thin variety) is usually used for fish head noodles but here, they use the thicker variety of Vermicelli (Choe Mai Fun in Cantonese) instead. Hence, that itself provides a different dining experience altogether.
Unfortunately, not to say that it was bad but the Bak Kut Teh didn’t really leave an impression with me. I have had better and in many other places. So, there’s nothing really to shout about here.
Presentation
As this is a no-frills eatery, they have modest plastic bowls and dishes, except for the piping hot clay-pots where you food will be served. I have no complaints about the presentation and in fact find it rather endearing & charming.
Variety
The main crowd pullers are their signature dish – the clay-pot fish head noodles, and their clay-pot bak kut teh. Besides that, there isn’t really anything else that I have noticed diners ordering.

Value for Money
The food comes in generous portions. In fact, I have friends who tell me to order for less than the headcount (eg: 5 of you dine there but you only order for 4, or even 3!)
You will see large chunks of yam (yes, they use yam chunks in their clay-pot fish head noodles), fish-balls, tomato wedges, clams (La-la)
The food is most reasonably priced! Great value and a rare find in KL!
Overall
Good food, generous portions at great value! This place earns checks at all the right boxes! Try it out. You may be the next evangelist for this place. =)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Comic Review - Books of Doom 1-6



Title/Storyline
Books of Doom 1-6
Publish Date/Year
2006
Creative Team
Ed Brubaker & Pablo Raimondi
Publisher
Marvel

Story
Told in the format of a TV interview program, Victor Von Doom is interviewed and he tells the interviewer of his story – from the time when he was a Gypsy boy in the Latverian Alps to the point where he becomes the powerful Latverian Monarch we all know today. There are supplementary insights about Doom from his Gypsy Clan members and subjects of the Latverian kingdom throughout the course of the interview.
We see how his mother had dabbled with the dark arts, causing her soul to be in the possession of a demon, his quest to save his mother led him to not only master science but also the dark arts as well - leading to a deadly combo that had proven to be a constant thorn to his arch enemies - the Fantastic Four. His studies in the USA (where he met Reed Richards, leader of the Fantastic Four) and subsequently became a recluse before finally trekking to the hidden monastery up in the Everest where he became Dr Doom, the leader whom they have prophesied would one day come.
Once his training at the monastery was complete, he was ready to go back to his Gypsy home to liberate his people from the Latverian tyrant who had caused him and his people so much misery!
Art
Raimondi reminds me of Doug Braithwaite (of Earth/Paradise/Universe X & DC’s Justice). His work is clean and crisp and has a very realistic slant to his style (altho' not in the same vein as Alex Ross' Photo-Realism) and yet still manages to convey some of the magic & power reminiscent of Jack "the King" Kirby.
Additional Comments
This is one of, if not THE best, Doom stories I have EVER read! Any Doom or Fantastic Four fan must read this! It is extremely well-written and provides some of the deepest insights of the man we usually find tyrannical and oh so fascinating. This series delves into and shows us that his failures are always due to his biggest weakness – his arrogance/ego!
It also shows readers an extremely rare glimpse into the human side of Doom – his love for his mother, his “girl friend” from his childhood days and his sense of duty and fierce loyalty to his Gypsy people.
I found myself unable to resist reading the entire 6 issues in one go.
Get the complete story here:
Fantastic Four: Books of Doom (Fantastic Four (Graphic Novels))

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Comic Review - Psylocke 1-4







Title/Storyline
Psylocke 1-4
Publish Date/Year
2010
Creative Team
Chris Yost & Harvey Tolibao
Publisher
Marvel

Story

Psylocke makes a comeback to the X-Teams (who are now based on the island located off the coast of California called Utopia) and then flies off to Japan to bury her Elizabeth (Betsy) Braddock body. with Wolverine on tow.

But her body was desecrated & burnt by what appears to be a group of Hand Ninjas who seemed a little out of place to her. She uses her powers & discovers that the person behind the attack was none other than the man who gave her Kwannon’s body – Matsu’o Tsurayaba (the same guy who also poisoned Wolverine’s wife – Mariko Yashida). She then swore to kill Matsu’o. Yes, she’s one of the thirstier X–Men members.

However, at the same time, another one (Yes, Psylocke was once his assassin when both she and Kwannon occupied the same body – yes, it’s THAT convoluted!) of Matsu’o’s former assassins – Jinn (a supernaturally powered flaming Middle Eastern guy), is also gunning to kill Matsu’o because he had just murdered his wife.

The showdown happens at Matsu’o’s country retreat when Psylocke is stopped by Yukio, an X-Men ally. Psylocke manages to defeat Yukio so that she could finish what she had come to do but then Jinn shows up claiming to kill Matsu’o. And then Wolverine shows up to stop them from killing Matsu’o, because he wants Matsu’o to suffer for a long time to come for having killed Mariko!

Art

Harvey Tolibao’s art reminds me of a cross between Tom Raney & Ethan Van Sciver, with a pinch of Leinil Francis Yu thrown in for good measure. He’s a little inconsistent right now (as his art looks absolutely beautiful in some panels but off kilter in some) but I can see his potential in becoming a big star like Van Sciver. Overall, it’s a pretty good looking series.

Additional Comments

I have to admit that I had been away from the X- books for quite a while (>2 years actually) and am a little hazy in terms of what’s happening in those books right now. I can’t really recall when Psylocke took a hiatus from the X-Teams, but she’s back – just in time to bury her body (see above for the details).

This is quite a simple story (but the history is something else) and easy to read but would have some long term consequences for the relationship between Wolverine and Betsy.

We also see how much of a bad-@$$ Psylocke can be. I’m quite surprised not many had actually capitalised on more often on the fact that she is a powerful telepath (ok, not in the same class as Xavier or Jean Grey) who inhabits the body of a ninja assassin – that’s a recipe for some kick-@$$ characterisation right there!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Movie Review - Alpha and Omega


Movie Title
Alpha and Omega
Year
2010
Genre
Animation, Adventure, Comedy

It's a story about 2 young Canadian wolf cubs from the Western wolf pack - Kate (Hayden Panettiere), an Alpha (Hunter Class Wolves), the western pack leader's daughter, and Humphrey (Justin Long), an Omega (Jester Class Wolves).

Due to food scarcity in Canada's Jasper Park area, the Western wolf packs soon face off against their Eastern counterparts more often during their hunting trips. This prompts the pack leader Winston (Danny Glover), Kate's dad, to initiate peace negotiations with the Eastern pack leader Tony (Dennis Hopper - this film was dedicated to him as it was his final movie before his death) resulting in an arranged marriage between Kate and Garth (Chris Carmack), Tony's Alpha wolf son, not for love but to prevent a deadly war between the two packs.

However, the marriage is put on hold when Kate and Humphrey are taken by park rangers and shipped to Sawtooth Park, Idaho to repopulate.

The rest of the movie revolve around their adventures in trying to get home in time to prevent the war between the 2 wold packs. along the way, they encounter comedic relief characters - the golf-loving Goose and Duck- Marcel & Paddy. Predictably, Kate and Humphrey fall in love along the way and return in time to prevent the disaster.
Acting
Well, it was OK for a cartoon, as there weren't any scenes that made the viewing difficult. So the acting was competent & suitable for the genre. The situations encountered and the reactions of the main characters were rather unrealistic at best and I am unsure if this can be blamed on the acting so much as the scripting and direction. So,...

As an aside, I couldn't recognize the voices if I had not referred to the credits.

Overall
The main thing that struck me when I watched this was that it reminded me of Bollywood movies as the characters suddenly break into song & dance! Other than that, I also found the story to be rather predictable, the animation was OK, the character design seemed rather dated. As an adult, it was rather uninterestingly bland (not that I'm expecting violence or gore, but to connect with audiences on a deeper level like Toy Story 3 or Up - which in my opinion were excellent!) but it's suitable for the younger ones at home.


Rating: 4.5/10

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stuff So Good...Back from Hiatus Edition

Well, it's been a while since my last posting. Apologies, time just caught up and before u know it, someone woke me up when September ended (Green Day fans will get the reference...).

Anyway, before I get to the heavy stuff like food, comics and movies, a little warm-up material.
Responsible Marketing.
Balls - everybody wants 'em!
One of my personal favorite foods! Yummy!
Babies' bottoms are smooth - this one's smoothier ;)
I have nothing to say...