That was me flipping an Original Bootcamp tyre in The Edge Options

Original Bootcamp in The Edge Options … after almost puking of course. See those blood-shot eyes in the photo below? Well that was due to several pints of Kilkenny the evening before, then waking up 3 hours later for my Original Bootcamp session, then almost vomiting out all the Kilkenny (no) thanks to the intense session that morning.

Since LC Hafiz Omar knows that I’m a whiner by nature, he refused to let me quit because (I’d like to think that) he knows what I’m capable of. In effect, he and Original Bootcamp almost instantly rid my hangover. Don’t believe me? You should try it sometime ;)

Original Bootcamp Sdn Bhd is featured in this week’s The Edge Options, a pull out from The Edge, Malaysia’s best selling and highly regarded publication on business and investment.

If you’re wondering why the Chinese girl in the accompanying photos looks familiar, that’s because it’s Zhang Ziyi me, Suanie! Hahah, I look damn happy to be flipping tyres, right? Nonsense, I hate tyres. Hate them with a passion, especially after flipping lots and lots of tyres during my session earlier. You try flipping 70kg tyres at 6 in the morning still feeling drunk with a bloody hangover, then you tell me if you can still smile after that.

But I’m an awesome model (ahem) and… okay lah, to be honest, I was high on endorphins, heh.

Original Bootcamp in The Edge Options - tyre

So yes, if you would get this week’s copy of The Edge, go check out the cover story in Options about Original Bootcamp. I think it’s quite well-written but perhaps I’m biased ;)

I’ve been getting lots of queries about Original Bootcamp, as well as really odd search engine keywords that land on my blog. I don’t suppose that is abnormal, for I’ve been quite enthusiastic and vocal about my love and passion for it, the things we do, the people doing it with me as well as the strong friendships formed.

As far as I know, there was a split of management which leads to Original Bootcamp Sdn Bhd no longer affiliated with the network from Australia. Which means Selva Kumar, one of the two people (the other being Rob Coad) who brought it into Malaysia is now doing it on his own. Also as far as I know, the locations for Original Bootcamp S|B remain the same: Padang Astaka in Petaling Jaya and Padang Merbuk in Kuala Lumpur. You can get more information about locations and times here.

Again as far as I know, the trainers who were with Original Bootcamp MY since the beginning are still instructing with the same company and at the same locations. This includes Simran Latif (unofficially known as Ze Sarge) whom I’ve always thought of to be The Rock of the programme in Malaysia.

Original Bootcamp in The Edge Options - rope

Again again as far as I know, the OBC Australian network is opening up here in Malaysia also: in Subang Jaya, Bandar Utama and Bukit Jelutong. I know the people opening and operating these locations/franchises for they are my friends! I wish them well and hope they do great. If you live or work anywhere near their areas, feel free to contact them and give it a try.

After all the purpose is not to get involved with any form of bickering, politics, unpleasantness etc. The reason why you’d join a bootcamp (ANY bootcamp even DailyMuscle‘s) or gym is for you to lose weight and get fit, whatever your purpose is. Truth to be told, I myself need reminding sometimes to forget the noise and to focus on myself. It’s okay, it’s all good, it’s a great learning process actually!

As for me where bootcamp is concerned, I’m a PJ Bravo at heart and Padang Astaka is home. I’ve always believed that it’s the people who make the programme (in all ways possible) and so I’m continuing my training with those who were there for me and with me from the beginning. Well, as and when I continue my bootcamp training lah, I’m currently on a break to try out different things! Which honestly wouldn’t have been possible without Original Bootcamp :)

Original Bootcamp Malaysia logo Original Bootcamp
Click for: Website and Facebook group
Phone: +6012-668 2267

It’s a porky porky world at Sanbanto, SS2

Sanbanto SS2 - Front of Shop and Deli [Note: The food featured in this blog post is ridiculously non-halal]

KennyBaby was raving about the pork roast at Sanbanto in SS2 and was quite determined that we give it a try. So one Sunday evening we did, and I stand before you now a proud survivor of awesome pork-overdose. I’m neither complaining nor regretting and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

As I found out months ago, Sanbanto is a family establishment of an Original Bootcamp friend, Becky. They have a farm near Mersing where they rear ‘natural pigs’, as Becky calls it. They feed their pigs with proper grains and stuff, let them roam free and do not inject them with hormone growths. Something like that and the result is premium, healthier pork with sweeter meat. There’s something about being ISO certified but I don’t know what that means so I’m not going to pretend.

At Sanbanto in SS2, Becky’s family sells pork in assorted cuts and forms. My sister often buys her meat and… uh, pig-related stuff (stomach etc) there, she loves it. There are a few tables on the side for a small restaurant business where they serve awesome pork dishes. So let us begin…

Sanbanto SS2 - creamy mashed potato Sanbanto SS2 - cheese baked meat balls
Mashed potatoes and meatballs

Two of my favourite appetisers at Sanbanto, the Creamy Mashed Potatoes (RM8) and Cheese Baked Meat Balls (RM10). The mashed potatoes is thick and creamy, topped with a generous serving of mushrooms and brown sauce. It’s really delicious but you’ll need to share this because if you’d finish it by yourself, you wouldn’t be able to eat anything else. The meat balls… well, you can’t go wrong with the awesome combination of pork balls with cream and cheese, so there.

Sanbanto SS2 - char siu Sanbanto SS2 - BBQ ribs
Char siu and BBQ ribs

If I’m not mistaken, Sanbanto only sells char siu on the weekends. They go for RM90 per kg (packaged from 150g to 200g per pack) and are often snapped up very fast. If you’d tried the famous Seremban char siu in Aman Suria at its peak before, I can tell you that the Sanbanto char siu is 10x better. Slightly more expensive yes, but I doubt you’d be able to eat it every day.

The BBQ Ribs (RM38) is a popular item on the menu. Gigantic slabs of ribs on an even bigger plate, barbequed to pork eaters’ nirvana with aplenty tender and mouthwatering meat. The BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy and slathered evenly all over the ribs, but not too much to make you feel jelak.

Sanbanto SS2 - pork bolognese with home-made pappardelle Sanbanto SS2 - lasagna with meat sauce and cream
Pork bolognese pasta and lasagna

On the pasta side, my favourite is the Pork Bolognese with Home-made Pappardelle (RM17). The pasta has the right texture — not unlike very fine mee hoon kueh or pan mee mit as KL-lites call it, and Sanbanto serves a good portion of it. If you’d poke around your pasta, you’d find bits of deep-fried lard at the bottom of the plate. It always gets people the first time as Nick‘s wife exclaimed that she’d never had chu yau char with pasta before. Awesomesauce!

Nick had the Spinach Lasagna with Meat Sauce and Cream (RM21). It looked good, it smelled good and Nick said it tasted good. I didn’t give it a try because I have had way too much to eat by then.

Sanbanto SS2 - English roast with wine sauce
English pork roast with wine sauce

Then came the pièce de résistance, the English Roast with Wine Sauce (RM42) which Sanbanto offers only during weekends. When they placed not one but three, THREE servings in front of us (okay, there were nearly 10 of us), my arteries instinctively shrank back in fear but my heart oh my heart, it almost leaped out of my body in unexplainable wonder and joy.

And that was only when I got a whiff of the dish..

Sanbanto SS2 - English pork roast

I doubt I can find adequate words to describe the deliciousness, yummyliciousness, awesomesauceness of the pork roast. Slow-cooked for 2 hours, the meat is tender, juicy, succulent and most flavourful. You squeeze a slice of lemon all over the meat. You eat it with a little brown sauce on the side, topped with bits of solidified egg yolk. You chew slowly and purposefully as to savour every precious bite. You wash it down with a pint of supple, malty and mellow Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel.

Your perfect weekend is thus complete.

Sanbanto SS2 - Suanie and Sze Sanbanto SS2 - Owners
Suanie and Sze, and the Ng family of Sanbanto!

Sanbanto is at 32, Jalan SS2/63, PJ.
(Same row as KTZ, Maybank and A Little Dim Sum Place)
Tel: +603-7876 1728. Closed on Mondays.

Experiencing Perth, the Gateway to Western Australia!

[Note: This post is an advertorial]

Sometimes when I close my eyes, I could almost see Perth’s blue skies in my mind.

It was also a specific time and place when I could pinpoint the exact moment when I felt like I could stay in Perth forever and not leave. The last month of winter, my last day in Perth. A lush green park, just one of the many in the city. A little past mid-noon, amazingly blue skies dotted with cottony white clouds. A grandfather and his two young wards taking a leisurely stroll, a vision right out of an Enid Blyton story.

Perth - Queen's Park - Grandfather with grandchildren

It was also where I fulfilled an unexplainable desire to see a black swan in the flesh. For unknown reasons, it almost became an obsession for me to see a black swan in Perth, perhaps for its significance in and association with Western Australia.

“What do you want to do?”
“I want to see a black swan!”

And so we hopped on one of the CAT buses in search of a promising sounding stop where we would then hop off and then venture on foot in our search for the black swan. We found them and there were so many of them! I was glad.

Perth - Queen's Park - Black swans

I had an entire day to spend with Val who had arrived at Perth a week earlier to further her studies. By now she’s the Perthian, having been there for 3 years now. But back in July 2007 we were newbies to the city, so to speak and wished to explore. So we went to see The Swan Bells.

Perth - On the way to the Bell Tower
That’s the Bell Tower on the far right! Walking all this way around Perth City before I started working out was a feat by itself

The Swan Bells are a set of 18 bells hanging in a specially built tower. Twelve of them date back to before the 14th century (from a church in Trafalgar Sq in London) whereas the rest were cast in recent times. I don’t remember if we managed to be part of the bell ringing demonstration (it was many months ago…) but I remember the scenic view of the city from the top of the tower.

Perth - Suanie and Val at The Bell Tower
Val had a fear of heights, would not venture past the more steady observation deck

Perth - Suanie and Val at the Swan Bells
Taken by the kindly-looking guard at the Bell Tower’s observation deck

We also made it to the Perth Zoo. Looking back, the admission price was more than worth it as we ended up spending so many hours there and had a great deal of a time (both people and animal watching :P )

Perth - Suanie at the Perth Zoo
Haha, I love this shot!

Perth - Perth Zoo - Suanie and Val
Spot the animals

Other random or not so random memories of Perth:

Kings Park. By the time I could get there, it was after 6pm and rather dark. I remember it being a chilly evening – then again I cannot take even slightly colder weather than usual. As I wrapped my jacket tighter to my body, I saw a guy in a tank top and shorts running past us. My first thought was, “ARE YOU NUTS?!?!” Heh but now that I’m slightly, uh fitter ( :P ) I’d like to try that some day. You know, jogging in Kings Park on a winter evening.. sounds whimsical in a way, doesn’t it?

Perth - City night view from Kings Park
Perth city night view from Kings Park

Swan Valley.

Perth - Swan Valley - empty vines

Empty vines because it was… uh, winter, heh. I think we stopped by more than a few wineries and got rather tipsy. Well there are so many along the Swan Valley, we couldn’t be biased and just visit one or two, right??

Perth - Swan Valley - Suanie with wine
Look what I found!

Fremantle. The seagull that tried to steal our fish and chips dinner.

Perth - Fremantle - Seagull

The highlight of my Perth trip was going to see the Wave Rock in Hyden, about 200++km from the city. It was not the destination but the journey for we crossed through the Wheatbelt region. The road we were on looked pretty much like this for 200++ km…

Perth - Road to Hyden

… and it was one of the most exciting road trips I’d ever gone on :) You tend to notice and appreciate every other little details that pop up like a bare tree on the side of the road. Or a lone sheep separated from the flock. Or patches of rusty brown intermingled with fields of green. Finding a kiosk after miles of driving to share a piping hot sausage and cheese stick. A steak and onion burger that was fried up last century but still tasted good because… well, there was nothing else. But it was still good :) Discoveries like these makes this my preferred mode of traveling.

Perth - Suanie in Corrigin
I made my friend turn around so I could have this photo taken

Perth - Hyden - The Wave Rock
Say hi to the Wave Rock. Sorry but it can’t say hi back.

Perth - Hyden - on top of the Wave Rock
Literally on top of the Wave Rock

Perth - Hyden - Park at The Wave Rock
My favourite photo so far. Makes me think of The Shire in LOTR and I was there

As the Hippo’s Yawn, another famous rock formation was just nearby, we decided to drop by and check it out. It is all very literal, actually. It’s a massive rock that looks like a hippopotamus yawning.

Perth - Hyden - Hippo's Yawn

Well I’d like to return, especially after reading about The Extraordinary Taxi Ride.It is a journey that embraces all the attractions and to-dos in Western Australia, a 9-week adventure by taxi that includes World Heritage Listed locations and the largest fringing reef in the world.

Driven by taxi driver Doug Slater, the more than 10,000km ride sees 11 couples from Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Germany taking part in the journey. The Malaysian winner of the Extraordinary Taxi Ride, Dr Ling recently explored the Great Southern Explorer route which took him and his brother Shaun through the deep South West of Western Australia.

I can see myself doing just that. Really, I could. Get on the off the beaten paths, you know, backpacks and all.

Now, who wants to go with me? :D
(You may have to know how to change a 4WD tyre, I can’t do that yet)

AirAsia flies to Perth regularly! Check out the website for the best value air fares to get to Perth, the gateway to Western Australia.

For more information on Perth – where to go and what to do, check out Experience Perth.

For info and updates on The Extraordinary Taxi Ride, click here. I think you can spend hours here with journeys and blog posts and photos and videos and route maps. I sure did!

ABSOLUT ROCK party @ Solaris Dutamas

One of the good things about taking a break from Original Bootcamp (hey, I’m still kind of injured you know! :P ) is being able to party on Friday nights until you’re absolutely plastered. Well, not that I do that all the time but it’s nice to have options, heh.

We RSVP-ed to Eric’s invitation to the launch of Absolut Rock at Blackbox, which coincidentally marked my 2nd time going to Solaris Dutamas. It is still a very confusing place for me, especially the entering/ exiting basement parking part.

Absolut Rock launch - cocktails Absolut Rock launch - Mike and Deep
Michael with loads of Absolut Vodka cocktails, and bromancing with Deep

There were models parading around the place dressed as different versions of David Bowie and Robert Pattinson. There was also a Spock-lookalike right down to the spacey shoulder pads. It was a bit surreal for me but I have to say that I had a fantastic time! Of course, the company was the numero uno reason other than the free-flowing cocktails and awesome DJ action by Twillight Action Girl.

Absolut Rock launch - Horng and Mike Absolut Rock launch - Suanie, Kerol, KY
Mike abusing Horng, and me giving some loving to Kerol

Absolut Rock launch - Nigel and Suanie Absolut Rock launch - Reta and Suanie
Me with Nigel and glam Reta

At some point during the party, Mike went on stage to win an air guitar competition. His prize was of course a bottle of Absolut Vodka, which he later opened with gusto to spike our drinks. Something about saving time from having to go to the bartender to ask for more vodka shots? Hmmm…

I loved this backdrop at the event which FA asked me to take a photo of. With her in the shot, of course.

Absolut Rock launch - FA poser
FA posing

All in all we had a blast of a party! Did I say that already? Can always repeat myself one, right? We had a blast of a party!! Thanks for having us :)

Absolut Rock launch - Group shot 01
Mike, ShaolinTiger, Terence, Kim, KY, FA, Haze & Ruby

Absolut Rock launch - Group shot 02
Terence, Elfie, Mike… argh you know everyone else!

Xtreme Martial Arts – Kickboxing @ Plaza Damas

Asha from Original Bootcamp does kickboxing at Xtreme Martial Arts at Plaza Damas in Sri Hartamas. She kindly organised a trial session for a bunch of us so we could have a taste of their sessions.

AVS Bathi led us through our session. Bathi, a World Kick Boxing Champion is also the Founder and President of the Malaysia Kickboxing Federation (WKA). Having represented the country many times for TaeKwon-Do and Kickboxing (and won several medals at that), you know that you’re getting the real deal here.

Xtreme Martial Arts - Kickboxing - 01 Warming up Xtreme Martial Arts - Kickboxing - 02 Warming Up
Stretching and warming up

Indeed, Bathi was an excellent instructor. Even with my poor coordination (AND poor comprehension of coordination), I found that I could understand what he was teaching, which is the mark of an experienced teacher. He was also rather strict, heh.

Besides going through some really basic kicks and punches (emphasizing on postures and stretching), Bathi also made us do lots of sit-ups, plank holds, burpees… Felt a bit like being at Original Bootcamp without the grass and mud, quite a thorough workout!

Xtreme Martial Arts - Kickboxing - 03 Learning to stretch Xtreme Martial Arts - Kickboxing - 04 Learning to punch
The steps before learning the basics

Very much enjoyed myself even though I was a bit dizzy from slight dehydration, but that’s another story. If you’re looking for a place to get your kickboxing kicks, I do think that Xtreme Martial Arts is a good place to learn your stuff. They also have other classes, e.g. TaeKwon-Do. As we were leaving, a bunch of guys were just about to begin their Russian martial arts lessons. They had large sticks, hmm…

Xtreme Martial Arts - Kickboxing - 05 Group photo
Us with Bathi

Xtreme Martial Arts - Kickboxing - 06 Group photo
Us posing…

From what I understand, public classes are inexpensive. Something like RM200 a month and you can attend as many public classes as you want. Quite a good deal for what you’ll be getting, actually! If you have a group of 10 or more, you could arrange for private classes. For more information, you can contact them at…

Xtreme Martial Arts / Kickboxing
A-2-2 (A003) 1st Floor, Plaza Damas,
Parklane Walk Shopoffice,
Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel/ Fax: +603-6203 4749
Mobile no: +6012-232 6749
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