Monday, May 17, 2010

Chance for a free holiday? I'll take it!

Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency

WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is celebrating it's 5th year in business during July of 2010, and we would like you to have a chance to celebrate with us, so we have decided to give-away a FREE Boracay Package complete with 5 Star accommodations at the luxurious Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel on Boracay Island. The lucky winner will win the following Boracay vacation package.

Vacation Package Inclusions:
- 5 Days / 4 Nights Luxury 5 Star Accommodations at the Le Soleil de Boracay  Hotel
- Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines
- Island Transfers - Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila Domestic Airport
- Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Boracay Activities - Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat
- PLUS - 5,000 peso Spending Cash

Read More Information:

on the plate - Belanga @ Empire Shopping Gallery

Was supposed to go for someone's birthday dinner at the Farmland Steamboat place in SS18, but with poor planning and other unforeseen circumstances, we ended up at the new Empire Shopping Gallery, and only three of us.

Parking was still free, and about 2/3 of the shops are open. We wanted to have a simple dinner at Chili's but it was closed. That sucks. But thankfully I spotted Belanga on the list of restaurants, and it wasn't crowded like most of the other eateries.

Belanga is a place specializing mostly in the food of Kelantan and Terengganu. Which means their specialties are Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Ulam, and the like. We had two orders of Nasi Kerabu (RM13.90) and one order of the standard Malaysian favorite, Assam Laksa (RM9.90).

The Nasi Kerabu come with either Ayam Percik (marinated barbecued chicken with spicy gravy) or roasted beef tenderloin, or grilled fish. We had one with the chicken and one with beef. The rice was soft and tasty, and mixed with the kerabu sauce and fresh vegetables and a bit of salted egg (which you do yourself, if you like the flavors all mixed in). The chicken was nicely marinated, and came as an entire chicken leg (drumstick + thigh, for the uninitiated), while the beef was slightly tough but tasted pretty good nonetheless.

The Assam Laksa came as a large portion, and was nice and fragrant, with lots of fish in the soup, and tasted pretty good, just a tad spicy.

Overall the food is pretty good, most would argue, why pay so much for eating simple Malay food when you can get it elsewhere? Well, this place is pretty reliable with the quality, and the cleanliness, and comfort levels. Plus, you won't normally get the same combination of all the different types of Malay foods at the regular warongs and stuff. So there.

Food : 6.8/10
Drink : 6.7/10
Service: 7.1/10

P/S:- yes I forgot to take pictures. Didn't bring camera, and I was hungry

Saturday, May 8, 2010

on the plate - Tepi Sawah Restaurant, Ubud, Bali

For some reason I decided to add a review on some overseas stuff as well. Let's start with something from last year. Went for a trip to Bali over the Easter holidays, stayed at this place called Tepi Sawah Resort. It's a small boutique resort in Ubud, a town near the middle of the island of Bali. It's quiet, peaceful, and far removed from the chaos that is Kuta (the tourist capital of Bali, and the place where the bombings took place)

One of the nights we just stayed at the resort and took in some of the resort food, as guests at the resort we got a discount on dining at the restaurant.

A platter of mixed rice, Balinese style. Sorry I didn't get a good picture and this is rather dark. It had rice, some satay, vegetables, tempe (Indonesian beancurd stuff) and some other stuff, I don't remember. It was good.

And the star of the show, one FULL LARGE rack of pork ribs. This was obviously while I was still learning how to use the camera to take pictures, especially in low light.

The pork ribs were, quite simple put, absolutely delicious. As you can see, the rack takes up pretty much the whole plate. They were succulent and tender, and simply basted with a bit of barbecue sauce and served with fries (not pictured). And the best part? The whole rack of ribs with fries only came up to a grand total of RM18-19 (or thereabouts, at the exchange rate of that time). Incredible.

cool orangey-green (or is it greenish orange?)

Spotted this really cool guy in my garden a while back. Quite a unique color for a dragonfly, eh?

on the plate - Coffee Ritual @ Section 14 PJ

yes, introducing Coffee Ritual, in Section 14, near the old Jaya and the Digital Mall. In fact, it's just down the road from TGI Friday's.

was picking up my violin one evening and we were hungry, and this was kinda opposite my friend's violin shop. So, we popped in as it looked decent.
the place is spacious and clean, with a pleasant atmosphere.

They have three options that you can choose from on the menu, firstly, you can choose anything ala carte from the menu, or, you can choose any main and turn it into a combo, which adds a drink; third, you can choose almost any main and turn it into a three course mail, with either soup and bun or salad, the drink, and dessert to go with it. Not a bad deal.

So, we had a black pepper chicken crepe, and a cajun chicken chop.

I had the three course meal, but was too hungry to snap pictures. The soup and roll went quickly. All I can tell you is that the tomato soup was creamy and very tasty, one of the better tomato soups I've had so far. The roll was soft and warm, and went superbly with the butter and dipped into the soup.

We had to wait quite a long time for the main courses to come, I think if not for the soup and roll, I might have been flat on the floor after a while :p

the black pepper chicken crepe was very peppery. It came with a side of salad. It was alright, nothing really special. The cream sauce was infused with a lot of peppery taste and it kinda permeated the entire dish. Not too bad but not something I'd really go for again.

Why is it that nobody here knows how to really do cajun chicken? Throwing on a few herbs and pouring gravy on it does NOT constitute calling it cajun chicken. Note to anybody attempting to make cajun chicken, use the internet and see how it's done right. Don't go passing off regular chicken chop with a few herbs sprinkled in as real cajun chicken.

/rant over

Anyway, the "cajun" chicken was actually decent, just that it wasn't cajun in any sense of the word. The baked potato that came with it was steaming hot and tasty, although didn't have quite enough sour cream. The vegetables were excellent, though and the chicken was tasty and nicely done.

All in, I wouldn't mind going to this place again, although the parking situation in Section 14 might put me off from attempting to go again. The food is decent, as are the drinks (iced honey ftw!) but the service, although friendly and good, can be slow (coming out from the kitchen... can't fault the front line waiters).

Alright, ratings
Food: 6.8/10
Drinks: 7.1/10
Service: 6.5/10 (I wanted to give two different ratings, but this is an average)

Where to go (for those with gps): 35 Jalan 14/20, Petaling Jaya
(03) 7956-1080

Sunday, May 2, 2010

eager anticipation

"just a few more rounds"

30 turns later

"I'm almost done conquering these stupid Mongols. I'll stop when I get their capital city"

5 turns later

"What? Those darn Romans turned on me and conquered one of my cities. I'll show them"

8 turns later

"how the heck does a horseman defeat an armored gunship? it doesn't make sense"

20 turns later

"just a few more rounds"

CIVILIZATION 5 come quickly!!!