29 October 2010

Daorae Korean BBQ

A couple of Saturdays ago I decided to treat Dad to Daorae Korean BBQ. I've had dinner there before and was suitably impressed. Knowing how hard it can be to justify paying RM100 for a few chunks of grilled meat with lots of vegetables, I decided to pick up the tab and just let him savour the taste.

Leafing through the menu picking my choice of dead animals
We ate at the Bayan Lepas branch (map at the end of this post) and do be warned - you should have a reservation for weekend dining. Though it has been open for the better part of the year, it is still packed to the brim during peak hours. Definitely a sign that Korean food is the current hot cuisine in town!

The re-fillable side dishes that is a staple of good Korean restaurants
I chose 2 BBQ items from the menu. I like the fact that the BBQ is done by staff so we do not get our hands messy with cooking or risk undercooking/burning the meat. The first item that arrived was Gal-bi-sal (RM55): Boneless beef short rib marinated in secret recipe Daorae sauce. It was done medium-well (at the cook's discretion) and it tasted good, although I couldn't really taste the so-called secret recipe Daorae sauce. Maybe that's why it's secret.

Gal-bi-sal - before
Gal-bi-sal - after

The second item is definitely tastier and better value. Hanbang Dweji Wang Galbi (RM35) are hand filleted pork ribs marinated in special Korean ginseng & herbs extract, and sweet soy sauce. Just look at the portion given:

Hanbang Dweji Wang Galbi - before
Hanbang Dweji Wang Galbi - after
I taught Dad how to use the provided lettuce leaves to wrap the grilled meat along with his choice of side dishes. It went well with the provided chili dip and sweet soya sauce. At the end of the meal we were served with complimentary dessert. Besides that, a bowl of seaweed soup was also served at the start of the meal. I should mention that the seaweed used is of a higher quality, and not the common seaweed used in miso soups served in local Japanese restaurants.

The last time I went with 3 other friends, we were also given a bowl of steam egg (akin to chawanmushi but in a small stone pot). It wasn't served tonight, possibly because it was just the two of us? I didn't ask.

Sweet ginger soup and watermelon are the complimentary dessert
This dinner cost RM99 (RM90 + 10% service charge) and it gave us a good hour of bonding. They have other non-BBQ entrees which I haven't tried. Let me know what you think of their other stuff!

Bayan Lepas, Penang branch: 

Other branches throughout Peninsula Malaysia are available.

27 October 2010

The UK Degree That Wasn't Recognized

Note: This is the first of a series of hidden blog posts I wrote about my preparation to move to New Zealand. Though posted weekly, the original date stamps will give you an idea of how time-consuming this process takes. At the end of each post, I will add in new details that I have learned since then.

[Originally written on 18/2/2010]

I studied a 3+0 degree programme at INTI College Malaysia (now known as INTI University College). The degree was awarded by Coventry University, UK. The whole idea of 3+0 programmes is that you can study locally, but obtain an overseas degree.

And that was indeed what I got - my degree sheet and transcript is from Coventry, not INTI.

However, New Zealand's immigration department is a little bit more fickle about that. In their list of exempted qualifications, my degree and Coventry University is listed, but they added a note "If the courses leading to the award of one the qualifications above were taken outside of the United Kingdom, please refer to the NZQA for assessment."


If you happen to need verification for your qualifications too, visit http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/ or directly to http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/for-international/international/index.html (if they haven't changed their links).

It's a whopping NZ$730 for verifying, plus other misc. costs for courier and getting the required documents ready. Those who studied in local universities like USM have got it easy.

Though they promise the process will take 35 days if not delayed, it's not uncommon to hear people taking more than a year to get it completed. *fingers crossed*

[End of original post]

As it finally turned out, they indeed took 35 days to assess my qualifications. The key to getting it back in time is to prepare all the documentation in advance, especially the course structures. I had to email INTI and get their curriculum department to print out copies of my course structures and mail it over. The fee incurred will vary with your institution of learning.

It was quite nail biting to wait for the results because if it was assessed to be less than a degree I would not be able to use it in my visa application. When the assessor asks, "Why did you finish a 4 year degree course in 3 years?" there's always that tinge of doubt in the quality of our 3+0 educations. Luckily it turned out alright in the end, and it was assessed to be a Level 7 qualification in Information Technology.

25 October 2010

Beach Picnic

When was the last time you had a picnic on the beach? It's something we islanders take for granted.
"Aiyah, the weather is so hot"

"Penang's beaches are so dirty"

"Lazy to prepare food"

Now that I'm leaving Penang for a substantial stretch of time, I want to spend quality time with friends and family, creating those unique memory keepsakes that are so rare nowadays. So when my close buddy S hatched the idea of a beach picnic, I stopped asking "why" and started asking "when".

My last beach picnic was at least 7 years ago at Pantai Kerachut with some Mahindarama BGX Youth. It was a full-blown affair, what with having to hike an hour to reach the northernmost point of Penang Island. This round we took the easy way out and set out our mats at Teluk Bahang, somewhere further out from the commercialized Batu Ferringhi beaches but still within a motorized vehicle's reach.

Our little picnic set up
We set out from my house at 7.30am and arrived at Teluk Bahang beach in the first half of 8 o'clock. The beach was almost deserted and we took our pick of spots to lay out our mats. As we haven't had our breakfast yet, we quickly dug in to our food. I made cheese & egg sandwiches and microwaved broccoli & carrots. S bought vegetarian chang (rice dumplings) while J supplied fruit drinks. W provided his sister's beach mat.

Cheese & egg sandwich is a simple yet delicious and filling combination. The key is in getting the egg part right. Mash hard-boiled eggs into small chunks (but don't blend it into a puree! That's just disgusting), sprinkle with black pepper flakes to give it a kick, and finally mix it with your choice of artery-choking dressing (I went with mayo). In between bread slices, place an even spread of egg mayo, slice of cheddar cheese, and butter/margarine. Delish.

I've also recently discovered the joys of cooking vegetables in the microwave instead of boiling them (nutrient leeching) or steaming them (too time/energy consuming). A whole bowl of cut broccoli can be done in 2-3 minutes. I rinse them with salt water and leave a small amount in the bowl before zapping them with microwave rays.

I also brought my portable speakers and preloaded my iPod with beach-friendly tunes such as California Gurls (Katy Perry), It's You That Matters (Reshmonu), and Mas Que Nada (Black Eyed Peas). A neighbouring picnic group did it the traditional way and had guitar sing-alongs! Let's just say I've modernized with the times.

We left at about 10am as the sun started getting unbearable. Although it was high tide we didn't have any cooling breeze to stave off the burning rays, so we packed up in 5 minutes (it took us 10 minutes to set it up - go figure) and high tailed it out of there. Our journey home was impeded by the Cycle For A Lane event. It was definitely scary to share the single lane road with endless cyclists. Yes, it's time for cyclists to have their own lane.

Pardon my camera phone's lacking capabilities

22 October 2010

Lye Lye Food Court, Terengganu Road

I meet Mum for dinner every fortnight (weekly nowadays) and one of our favourite haunts is this food court near our place called Lye Lye:
Lye Lye Food Court front view
We like to meet here for the simple fact that it has ample parking at the back and is near our respective houses. The main bulk of their business comes from beer drinkers who congregate here en masse in the late evenings, and not from any particular flagship stall.

Food stalls here have a high turnover rate. Having patronized them for 4 years we know what are the stalls that survive and which will close in a few months. Contrary to common wisdom, we avoid the mainstayers (nasi lemak, wan tan mee, western food...) and endeavour to try the newcomers instead in a bid to support their bravery. Bravery that is mostly in futility, I should add.

One new stall that I was really looking forward to was Lao Chiek (Old Uncle) Beef Kuey Teow. While usually pricey (RM7 in this case), eating beef kuey teow can be a delightful and heartwarming experience when it is cooked well. Check it out on the left: it looks pretty good doesn't it? Unfortunately...

Let me start with the good points. The beef slices were nicely done and not too chewy (I don't take offal so I can't comment on the innards). The kuey teow itself was of a nice texture. Even the soup stock had sufficient kick to it (but won't say no to a little more).

Unfortunately, all that was washed away by one simple fact: the soup was lukewarm. I'm sure it's not just me who hugely appreciates a STEAMING BOWL OF SOUP when ordering any hot soupy food? I don't need it to be bubbling like lava, but when my glass of warm water is warmer than the soup, something's wrong somewhere. And as a minor gripe, the cook only gave 2 beef balls. I'd prefer a better balance between amount of beef slices vs beef balls.

This stall also sells Mee Bakso (Indonesian beef noodles) and Herbal Soup, but I'm not quite sure I'll give them a second chance...

Mum ordered Chee Cheong Fun from this stall that has been operating for a good deal of time. The stall owner also sells Popiah. Both of which are in the strictly Average category. You won't feel an intense regret ordering it, but you won't have tears of joy streaming down your face either.

Chee Cheong Fun (RM2.60 for large)
To round things up, we have a feeling that this new Mee Goreng/Mee Rebus/Pasembur stall will last the test of time provided he improves on his cooking speed. That is indeed a big portion for just RM3 and it has the right amount of heat and fragrance. We waited almost 15 minutes for this even when the food court was barely occupied, which is either a testament to the care he gives to each plate, or he really needs to brush up on mass cooking.

Mee Goreng (RM3)
Mum commented that the gravy he used isn't manis (sweet) enough to her liking, so it might be something to remind the cook if you like your mee goreng slightly sticky and sweet (mmm... don't we all?) I look forward to trying the Mee Rebus and Pasembur from this stall, and will update when I do.

Lye Lye food court is open everyday, and most stalls operate from 6.30pm onwards. The Wan Tan Mee is pretty good during lunch, but dinner is the time to go to catch all of the above.

Coordinates: 5.406993,100.308604

21 October 2010

Oktoberfest @ MGS Penang

The largest Oktoberfest in Malaysia is held at Penang’s Malaysian German Society towards the end of every October. Though happening for the 38th year, this will be my first visit. Forgivable, except for the fact that it’s only 10 minutes walk from my house!

I bought the early-bird entrance tickets yesterday (RM25; RM30 if you only buy it this Saturday) and here’s the agenda and food pricing:


  • 7.00pm Arrival of VIPs and welcome addresses
  • 7.30pm Marching in of the Reissner Band
  • 8.30pm Beer drinking contest for ladies and gentlemen
  • 9.30pm Stein (1 liter beer mug) carrying contest for ladies
  • 10.30pm Arm wrestling contest for real men
  • 10.45pm Lucky draw 3 main prizes announcement


Torch Restaurant & Bar:

  • Lamb Shank with Mashed Potatoes (RM 25)
  • Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes (RM 8 for 6, RM 15 for 12)
  • Chicken Bitki Cutlets (RM 5 for 2 pieces)
  • Mashed Potatoes (RM 5 per portion)


That Little Wine Bar:

  • Nuernberger Sausages with Bun (RM 15)
  • Fraenkonian Meat Patty with Potato Salad (RM 15)


Satay Stall:

  • Beef and Chicken Satay (RM 0.70 per stick)


Nellcis Homemade Cakes:

  • Gingerbread Hearts (RM 12)
  • Pretzels (RM 3)
  • Cakes (RM 6)


Ingolf’s Kneipe:

  • Farmer’s Pork Sausage (RM 16 set, RM 9 plain)
  • Smoked Country Sausage (RM 16 set, RM 9 plain)
  • Chicken Sausage (RM 16 set, RM 9 plain)
  • Chicken Meatloaf (RM 16 set, RM 9 plain)
  • A pair of Munich Sausages (RM 16 set, RM 9 plain)
  • Honey Glazed Kasseler (RM 20 set, RM 12 plain)
  • Roasted Pork with Gravy (RM 20 set, RM 12 plain)
  • Julian’s BBQ Whole Lamb Shank (RM 25 set, RM 20 plain)

All set meals from Ingolf comes with your choice of 3 side dishes…:

  • German Style Sauerkraut
  • Flaky Mashed Potatoes
  • Semmelknoedel
  • Red Cabbage Braised with Apples

… and you can choose between Onion Sauce or Brown Meat Gravy.

Obviously there’s gonna be beer, and I’ll be aiming for some good German beer. No price list for alcohol though, but surely will be available.

See you there this Saturday! It will be a packed day for me, with the ASAP Film Festival at KDU Penang during the daytime. In contrast, that is a free event that you should attend if you have the time. Support local arts industry and learn something at the same time.

20 October 2010

The Next Chapter

As most of my closest friends and acquaintances already know, I have decided to start life anew in one of the youngest nations on Earth - New Zealand. I'm sure you might have questions about my motives, how I did it, why New Zealand, etc... Feel free to ask your questions in the Comments and I'll get to them in future postings.

The process and investigation to attempt this major life overhaul actually began more than a year ago. Migration, even when it's temporary in my case (more on that in future), takes major effort to plan and execute. I actually documented my efforts in a private blog, but now that the cat is out of the bag I will move those posts here. From now till my departure, I will republish those posts here every week and you will get to experience the process of migration. If you're considering such a journey yourself, let my experience give you a hint of what's in store for you.

While waiting, feel free to comment this post with your most burning questions regarding my move. I will answer it if possible.

18 October 2010


(written from the perspective of a fictional six year old)

I have a cat. Her name is Cleo.

I don't know where she come from. One day, Shawn gor gor bring back this white cat. He call this cat Cleopatra because he says she acts like a queen. Daddy said Cleo cannot come into the house because she is not our cat. But Cleo love our house very much. She likes to come and sleep and lie down on the floor. I like to rub her stomach and Cleo love it too! She will turn here turn there and rub her face on my leg.

Cleo is special. She cannot meow meow much like other cats. She will only meow a lot when we want to give her food. We will usually give her the food we do not eat, like chicken skin and extra rice. Sometimes I only eat little bit so that Cleo will have rice to eat.

Many many months ago, Cleo's stomach start to become bigger. Shawn gor gor says it is because she is pregnant and will have babies! We are so happy to see when Cleo make 2 baby cats. The baby cat is very cute and I hold them in my hands. But we cannot keep them inside so I don't know where Cleo take them.

A few weeks later we see a baby cat following Cleo. I only see 1 baby cat. This baby cat is very shy! I try to touch her but she always run away and hide behind Cleo. At first she only drink milk from Cleo but after a few months she eat together with her mummy. She keep growing bigger and bigger and one day she is not shy with us anymore.

Cleo (white) with her main offspring
Then a few months ago, Cleo's tummy start becoming bigger again. I can see gor gor and daddy are not happy with this. Daddy also stop feeding them because he said they are not our cats. But the cats still come to our house when there is no food. Last Saturday, Cleo give us 3 more baby cats again. Gor gor and daddy decide to phone SPCA to take them away. I was sad because I don't know what will happen to them.

SPCA come in big metal lorry. The uncle ask me to bring the cat to the lorry. Daddy carry Cleo and I carry the 3 baby cats. We put them in a metal box. Cleo was relaxed and didn't fight back. Maybe that is why Shawn think she is a queen and call her Cleopatra. I also catch the other baby cat (now quite a big cat) and put her in another cage. But this cat very angry and try to run away. Lucky the uncle is fast enough to close the door.

Daddy gave some money as donation to SPCA, then the lorry go away.

I wonder how is Cleo doing. =(

When you need to rest, just lay your head down

15 October 2010

Hainanese Delights

In my earlier post today I mentioned that I enjoyed my first visit to Hainanese Delights more. Well I went back to my photo archives and found photos of the food we ate then. I don't remember how much we paid so here are just the photos.

Curry Kapitan Chicken

Choon Piah
Yam Fish
Braised New Zealand Lamb with Ladies Fingers (highly recommended)

Macaroni Pie

Mixed Vegetables

Hainanese Delights & Esplanade Rojak, Penang

As mentioned last week, I left earlier on the last day of the BlogFest.Asia conference because I was tired and wanted to rest before my dinner appointment that night. My appointment was to host a KL blogger (Jino) and his partner, along with The Pooh.

Earlier in the day I gave Jino 3 choices - hawker fare, Nyonya cuisine, or Hainan fusion cuisine. They are all uniquely Penang, and he chose Hainan fusion, so I brought him to Hainanese Delights at Hotel 1926. This was my 2nd visit there - my first was a farewell dinner for Ivan. Though pricier than standard Chinese restaurant, it has a unique style that is fast disappearing. Though to be frank, it has hits and misses, and I enjoyed my 1st visit more.

(There are more comprehensive reviews out there. I am just discussing the dishes we actually ate.)

Chinese tea - RM1/pax, Peanuts - RM1

Jino ordered the tea, which I have forgotten the name to. At any rate, it went well with our dinner.

Asparagus, long beans, and winged beans in sambal - RM12
We asked it to be kept to minimal spiciness and they did. It was perfectly balanced and crunchy. And I just learned that kacang botol is known as winged beans in English.

Steamed rice - RM1.20/bowl
OK, the first snag I hit. I am usually not picky about the quality of my rice, since it merely provides a buffer for the other dishes. But Dad is, and he demands a level of fluffiness and softness that only decent rice and cooking technique will provide. Unfortunately, the rice here barely hit the mark. It's edible, but it definitely didn't make me want to get an extra bowl.

NZ Lamb Stew - RM35
 You need to pre-order this since stews need time to... er, stew. We didn't and were thankful that they still had it. While delicious, let me brutally honest. RM35 for 6 bites of lamb (tender as they are) with potatoes does not actually equate good value. The first time I dined there I ordered the NZ Braised Lamb with Ladies Fingers, which was the same price but wayyyy superior to this. You should go for that instead of the stew. I know I should have.

Chicken Pie - RM28

Inside the chicken pie...
The Chicken Pie never disappoints! It's quite evident that the puff pastry is hand made, and the ingredients go very well together without being overly creamy. Chicken, diced vegetables, potato cubes, and egg all come together to make a delicious star.

The portions were just nice for the 4 of us and the total bill came up to RM93.28 with 5% service charge and 5% govt. tax. Speaking of service charge, the attention we received was exemplary. Our waitress made sure our tea pot was always filled without being too intrusive.

After dinner, we picked up The Pooh's "friend" and headed to Esplanade where we had another Penang classic - Rojak! Another confession - I'm not a big fan of Rojak. While I do not dislike it, I do not eat it unless someone else orders it. Perhaps I'm too cheapskate to pay RM8 for a plate of fruit laced with rojak sauce and crushed peanuts:

Esplanade Rojak - RM8

While eating the Rojak, we played 5 rounds of Monopoly Deal. Now, if you haven't heard of this card game I suggest you try it out soon. It's quick to pick up, quick to play, has layers of strategy, and you look really smart to blur onlookers.
Playing Monopoly Deal - priceless

Unfortunately the sea breeze was not forthcoming that night, and so we called it quits after 5 games. It was also past 11pm and since I was working the next day, I sent our guests back to Tune Hotels and called it a night...

13 October 2010

New Zealand

New Zealand is a unique country. My first exposure to it was through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Who could forget the natural splendor on display? A few years later, I was reintroduced to this country via Les Mills, the group exercise franchise that has been equated to the McDonald's of workouts. While Lord of the Rings showed me the beauty of its earth, being a BodyJam instructor showed me the beauty of its people. Relaxed, easy-going, and fun-loving is how I would describe (most) Kiwis! Just view any of Air New Zealand's videos (especially the flight safety ones, or this one) to get an idea of what I mean.

Akaroa (from Simon Tong)

It would be impossible to mention New Zealand without giving a token paragraph to sheep. After all, they could probably kill all of NZ's 4.5 million humans if they banded together (or were zombified).

There are about 40 million sheep and 5 million cows in this nation of 4.5 million people. To get an idea of its isolation, consider that the United Kingdom is only slightly smaller than New Zealand, but has a population of 62 million.

Another place I often see New Zealand is in the ranking of the world's cities. Many consultant companies produce annual lists, and it's no surprise that most of New Zealand's cities frequently make the Top 10. Mercer's Quality of Living survey ranks Auckland #4, The Economist' World's Most Livable Cities put Auckland in the 10th spot, and Monocle magazine's own list shows Auckland in 20th place.

At the same time, it is only the 138th most expensive city to live in for expatriates, according to Mercer. This provides a nice counter balance. (All figures obtained from Wikipedia) Unfortunately, as reported recently, New Zealand has the 3rd highest obesity rate among OECD nations.

11 October 2010


Humans settle easily into their comfort zones, and love to complain about their current state even though it is much better than ever before.

I was reminded of this during one of our lunches at the BlogFest.Asia conference 2 weekends ago. Borey, the Cambodian remarked something along the lines of, "Malaysians do things opposite from us. In Cambodia we eat a lot of rice with just a bit of the side dishes. Here, you guys eat very little rice with lots of side dishes."

And it struck me - yes, we're lucky. Malaysia is one of the most prosperous countries in South East Asia and this has enabled us to have better food, including the ability to have more side dishes than rice. I believe most of us are oblivious to this fact - I am certainly guilty of taking only very little rice but load up on side dishes.
Other countries may not have that luxury.

Decisions, decisions... (from Penang Foods)

08 October 2010

2010 BlogFest.Asia (Day 2)

I had an eventful Saturday night and arrived home past midnight. Although Sunday's events will also start at 9 I already planned to arrive late. Hey, don't judge. At least I showed up. By the time the event actually began at 9.45am, it was evident that more than half of the local attendees skipped the thing.

Typical Malaysian behaviour when it comes to free things.

As we started late, the schedule kept going out of whack. It didn't help that time management wasn't strict and some speakers tended to ramble endlessly. I spent the whole morning surfing the web on my Nokia C6-00 phone - I'm so thankful it has a real QWERTY keyboard that enabled me to surf easily, even if text was a bit hard to read. Even a panel session represented by a DAP MP and a MCA man didn't pique my interest much as they only skimmed the surface.

The most entertaining part of the morning was the Country Report, where representatives from different Asian countries came up to talk about the state of blogging in their homeland.

Representative from Taiwan

Lunch came, and once again it was at WOU's cafeteria. Dishes consisted of curry fish (very mild), fried chicken and stir-fried cabbage. Simple fare that I will not be criticizing as I do not have a food fetish. In a nice gesture, Duy and Ami (the Viets) gave me a small souvenir from their country. Within South-East Asia, I haven't visited Indonesia, Phillipines, Brunei, Laos, and Vietnam but I'm putting Hanoi at the top of my list since I have some new contacts there!
Souvenir from Vietnam

Queueing up for lunch at WOU cafeteria
We had breakout sessions again in the afternoon, but I only went for the first out of three sessions. I enjoyed Tactical Technology Collective's sessions the most because the speaker was very natural and the mood was very informal. I already know many of the things he taught (coming from a technology background and all) but I really respect their efforts to use technology to build up civil society.

Tactical Technology Collective workshop

I was still tired from last night's gathering, and I had another dinner appointment in the evening, so I left at about 3pm to go home. I'm quite sad to have missed the closing ceremony and I didn't even get the chance to say a proper goodbye to my new friends - sorry all!

In conclusion, I think this BlogFest.Asia was quite informative and empowering. Well, it got me to restart this blog, didn't it? There's talk that next year's conference will be in Myanmar (Burma). I'll probably not be going - don't think I'll even be in Asia this time next year!

That concludes my imperfect coverage of this conference - normal blogging topics resume next week.

06 October 2010

2010 BlogFest.asia (Day 1)

[continued from Day 0]

The actual conference was held at Wawasan Open University. I really like this place thanks to its large grounds, colonial mansion in front, and the sea directly behind it. The place is well maintained and it really gives me a peaceful, out-of-town feel even though it is merely 5 minutes from the CBD.

I want to study here when I grow up

In my Day 0 coverage I lamented that I didn’t meet anyone new, especially foreign friends. Well, I shouldn’t have worried. As I was queuing up to register my attendance, someone stood behind me who was obviously not a Malaysian.

I immediately offered a handshake and introduced myself. Borey is a Cambodian IT student, and through him I got to know his hotel room mates, all 4 of them (5 of them squeezed into a single hotel room!). From one handshake I got to know Cambodians (Borey, Both), Vietnamese (Ami, Duy), and a local guy too (Lex). I stuck around them for the rest of the event.

Back to the conference…

It was obvious that the schedule was very organic and agile. Sessions could change in the last minute without prior notification. The best I could do was sit back and be herded like cattle through the day because it was impossible to predict if a particular session will change!

The structure for both days was similar – mornings were spent in the lecture theatre while afternoons we are free to attend our choice of 3 breakout sessions. I won't reprint the program which you can view at their website. Here are some photo highlights from Day 1:

Keynote by Prof. Peter Herford

An example of a panel discussion

Day 1's breakout session ended about 5, and since dinner started only at 6.30, I took the chance to go home to catch 40 winks. When I returned, the field in front of WOU has been turned into a garden party (one can fantasize). While food was not as tasty as the night before, Bamboo Catering is one of the better known caterers in Penang and they did a good job of introducing foreigners to cafeteria-quality food.


Sarcasm aside, at the very least they had fresh Char Kuey Teow but the queue extended almost 10 minutes for a measely plate and I gave it a miss. The Ais Kacang contained the bare minimum of red bean, sweet corn, and herbal jelly but managed to impress my international friends anyhow. If only I had the chance to bring them to Penang Road's Cendol and Ais Kacang...

Critical review aside, I should be grateful to the state government for sponsoring this dinner and the performance that followed (cultural dance and Chingay demonstration).

Dinner sponsored by Penang State Government on WOU grounds

Queueing up for dinner, catered by Bamboo Catering

Belacan Chicken, Fried Spring Rolls, Shrimp, Chicken Coctail, Vegetables, and Fruit

Chingay performance with WOU in the backdrop

The night continued with the MyBloggerCon awards, which honoured Chinese blogs. Since I can't read and write in Chinese (my conversational skills are elementary at best), I gave it a miss. Also, I had another birthday dinner to attend.... (yes, I had 2 dinners that night!)

[Day 2 continued]

05 October 2010

2010 BlogFest.Asia (Day 0)

As mentioned previously, I was at the 2010 BlogFest.Asia event over the weekend.

There was barely any publicity at all, and if not for a chance sighting in The Star's Metro North section about the event, I wouldn't have known about it! Was it poor PR, or by design to prevent Malaysians dominating the event, I'll never know.

[Before reading further, I need to state clearly that I didn't go to the event with an eye to document it. So my posts about this event will be heavily skewed and biased to what I've seen. If I were a real blogger/journalist, I would have at least interviewed the organizers, but as you already know, I Am Not A Blog =)]

The event actually started the night before, with a welcome dinner at QEII (food review by Criz Lai) hosted by the Ministry of Tourism. This was easily the best meal of the entire weekend, as QEII can be considered fine dining. The buffet spread was tempting, with salads, mushroom soup (heavenly!), fried rice, NZ beef (I missed this), lamb, chicken, vegetables, and spaghetti bolognese.

I know "lamb, chicken, vegetables" made it sound like I'm having chinese economy rice, but I was too hungry to properly write down the names and take blurry pictures with my point-and-shoot. As you know, I Am Not A (food) Blog =) [Darn, I love quoting my own domain name in sentences]

You're just gonna have to take my word that it was awesome, delicious, and everything a decent buffet should be. And you can't beat free flow beer, although I restrained myself to a small glass.

I went there alone with the intention of making new friends, especially foreign ones. Mission Failed. People were in their own comfortable cliques and there was no ice breaking event (understandably quite difficult to do it there) to let us mingle. I'm not known as a social butterfly, so I was awkwardly walking around fluttering my ugly moth wings instead. (I did meet some old acquaintances and a colleague, but I didn't stay too long with them because, you know, I wanted to meet new people!)

Anyhow I went off at about 9.30 because I was going nowhere with the socializing and was really tired after my cardio class at 6.

[Day 1 continued]

03 October 2010

I Am Not A Blog

There are mummy blogs.

There are food blogs.

There are travel blogs.

There are emo blogs.

I Am Not A Blog. Dot com. =)

This weekend was spent attending the 2010 BlogFest.Asia event (full post later), and I was inspired to take up blogging again. This blog has existed under several names since 2005 and it's time to evolve it once more.

To get off to an auspicious start, I registered the obvious lie of a domain, www.iAmNotAblog.com. For now it redirects here while I decide what to do with it. But the obvious thing is to ramp up my posting schedule to thrice a week and get back my readership. I definitely have interesting things in the pipeline...