Archives for December 2011

The Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011

… aka NAPBAS. I was there ‘cos I was one of the 5 finalists for the ‘Best Micro Blog‘ category.

The awards was held this past Friday at the Putrajaya Marriott. I’ve been to the hotel before but only during daytime. Plus I left from a new place so I wasn’t very sure of my directions. So I ended up touring Putrajaya city, went on both Putrajaya bridges and rounded the city a few times because Malaysian road signs are: 1) inefficient and lead you to big useless rounds, and 2) blocked from view thanks to massive trees.

Really Kerajaan, thank you. Loved the nearly 2 hours joyride. Really.

Anyway, managed to reach there just in the nick of time.

NAPBAS 2011 programme book

Met many familiar faces, mostly known each other via blogging from a few years back. It’s (still very much so) a fantastic community ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, I’ve to mention Viva Vertical‘s pole dancing show during the awards. It was fun to watch and in KY‘s words, they had muscles where I didn’t know one could have muscles! Nah, link: *click*

Then my category came up. Wah they did this big screen thing:

NAPBAS 2011 - Micro Blog category

Damn shiok man, I felt a tingling down my spine. Quite a thrill really to see yourself on a massive projection like that. And for reasons not related to crime… best! ๐Ÿ˜›

I didn’t win, Kenny Sia did. So sad, mostly because I would have liked a new digital camera, sob sniff.

Though I’ve to say, I had fun at the awards thanks to the company ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, it’s not everyday that you get to pose in a photo like this:

NAPBAS 2011 - Suanie in Micro Blog category

Best ever! ๐Ÿ˜€ By the way, if you’d voted for me, thanks yah. Really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

The Breaded and Baked Chicken ‘cos it’s healthier than fried

I breaded and baked chicken. It’s so mind-numbingly easy, you can do it too!

Ingredients:
– 1 cup dry breadcrumbs. Or Panko if you’re super fancy
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 1/2 tsp herbs, whatever you like
– 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– 2 tbs olive oil
– 2 cloves minced garlic
– 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(I buy 2 chicken breasts and cut to half)

1 – Preheat the oven to 190ยฐC for 10 mins.

The Breaded and Baked Chicken - flattening the chicken The Breaded and Baked Chicken - breadcrumbs

2 – Pound and flatten the chicken breasts a little with a meat hammer. I got mine from IKEA, it’s the most useful thing ever as we also utilise it to break ice.

3 – Mix breadcrumbs with salt, black pepper, dried herbs and cayenne pepper.

The Breaded and Baked Chicken - breadcrumbs seasoning

4 – Mix olive oil with minced garlic.
5 – Lightly grease a baking pan/ baking paper placed on a baking pan.
6 – Dip the chicken breasts into the oil+garlic mix then into the breadcrumb mix.

The Breaded and Baked Chicken - preparing to bake

7 – Arrange the meat in the baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

The Breaded and Baked Chicken - out of the oven

8 – Serve however way you want, mmmmmmmmmmm.

The Breaded and Baked Chicken

I had mine with Neapolitan sauce on warm tortilla bread.

The Breaded and Baked Chicken - with tomato sauce and tortilla bread

Fanfriggintastic!

Foolproof Baked Zucchini and Mushrooms

I’ve been eating my zucchini this way for a while now. It’s unbelievably easy, takes almost no effort and tastes way awesome. Just thought I’d put it down on the blog for anyone who might find it helpful. Never know!

Fool Proof Baked Vegetables

Heat oven to 190ยฐC for 10 mins. Meanwhile, slice zucchini and quarter mushrooms. Throw it all into a baking pan (or whatever you use for the oven). Drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil onto the vege. Add salt and black pepper. Using your (clean) hands, mix the stuff around and make sure that it’s well coated. Dump it in the oven for 10 mins then it’s done.

Simple joys!

Suanie drinks: Wells Banana Bread Beer

Many moons ago, my friend HalfBiskutHalfMan came to Malaysia and brought me a bottle of specialty beer, the Wells Banana Bread Beer. It is his favourite and he’d like me to give it a go, possibly under the illusion that I’m some sort of beer connoisseur.

I can be so everyone please send me more specialty beer ๐Ÿ˜›

Many moons later, the bottle was still untouched in my cupboard. Then I was blogging about food at Songket and I asked Half if I could use photos of him dancing from an earlier visit to the restaurant. He said yes on the condition that I review the (almost forgotten) beer.

And so here it is.

Banana Bread beer - backdrop

In summary, Wells Banana Bread Beer is possibly one of the oddest beers I’d tasted. It’s like an alcoholic liquid version of homemade banana bread. Damn weird, right? Well it IS English…

This fruit beer has a ABV of 5.2%. Upon opening the bottle cap, a whiff of ripe bananas came to my attention. So I poured it out to a glass and took it closer to my nose: it really does smell like fragrant banana bread!

It’s light copper in colour with little head – then again it has been in my storage for a while now. Not very gassy, heavier than say a Tiger and not as heavy as a Kilkenny. Went down smoothly with an opening of banana bread scent. Overall easy to drink with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Banana Bread beer - poured

After a few more mouthfuls of the beer, the novelty wore off and I’m sorry to say (especially to Half who will be reading this) that I gave up and it went down the drain. I can’t take too much of the dessert-sweet and slight bitter combination. I googled a bit, seems that there are some people who are really into this beer, good for them. One even made a Banana Bread Beer Bread out of it, heh.

You can find out more about Wells Banana Bread Beer at their website here: Link. It’s award-winning (2002) and the brewery uses only free trade bananas, yay! Though if you look at the ingredient list carefully, you’d also see ‘banana flavour’, haha. Oh well.

Christmas spirit at IKEA Malaysia

When: Last Sunday, sometime around 4pm
Where: IKEA Mutiara Damansara
Why: Nothing better to do so jalan2 tengok orang

Actually I wanted some fancy IKEA boxes to store stuff in Gladys so she doesn’t look too much like a bomb shelter. I ended up with the boxes and some nice lilac hand towels that comes in a set of 4. After paying, I realised that I only had 3 hand towels. So I went to the Return and Exchange (or was it Exchange and Return..?). The guy refunded me the money for the hand towels, a grand total of RM8.90 and asked me to buy it again from IKEA marketplace. I’m like, err have to go one HUGE round again? Tak payah lah… then I passed the money to Joyce because she was going to IKEA again the next day. So now I have 4 lilac hand towels, yeay! You should feel happy for me just because I made you read all that. I’m not even going to show you a photo of the coveted hand towels.

Anyway it is Christmas spirit at IKEA already. Here be photos!

IKEA Malaysia Christmas 2011 - carollers
Carollers.. I LOVE CAROLLERS!
[Read more…]

German-style Crispy Duck @ TJ Haus, SS18

My colleague told me about TJ Haus in SS18, Subang Jaya and recommended that I try their superlicious chilled cheese cake. I googled and found out the exact location, briefly saw that they’re famous for their duck so I decided to have it for dinner.

TJ Haus is on the 1st level of an end lot in a row of shops in SS18. Walking up the stairs, you’d surely see how it’s decorated – quite a cosy and homely feel even from the outside. Step inside TJ Haus and you may feel like you’re at someone’s house. I thought it felt very comfortable and relaxed. As Christmas is upon us, TJ Haus is all decked out in Christmas decorations, very nice.

TJ Haus SS18 - interior TJ Haus SS18 - outside seating

This is TJ: Thomas and Jeffrey. Thomas is the chef and Jeffrey the host. Nice, obliging people!

TJ Haus SS18 - Thomas and Jeffrey

Joyce and I both had the Crispy Duck (German-style) (RM26). Chef recommendation so we wanted to try for ourselves mah! The dish didn’t disappoint though it was a lot of duck. Perhaps you could share this main when you’re here with others.

TJ Haus SS18 - crispy duck

Half duck topped with brown orange sauce, served with boiled potatoes and red cabbage. The skin is crispy on the outside, yet the meat is nice and soft with a slight bite on the inside. According to a newspaper clipping at the restaurant, the duck is stuffed with sliced apples and oranges before it is roasted in the oven, hence the natural sweet and tangy taste.

We were given extra sauce (without having to ask, so nice!) which is a bit heavy so go easy. I particularly like the red cabbage as it is not common here – sauerkraut is usually given in place. Again according to the newspaper clipping, their red cabbage is marinated overnight with vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and shredded apples. Absolutely delicious!

Boiled potatoes are boiled potatoes. Really one.

TJ Haus SS18 - crispy duck German style

Here’s Joyce enjoying her meat.

TJ Haus SS18 - Joyce eats duck

We shared a prawn cocktail and a chilled cheese cake. Both were quite enjoyable but the focus of this blog post is the crispy duck. So go focus.

TJ Haus SS18 - prawn cocktail TJ Haus SS18 - chilled cheese cake

I’ll be going back to TJ Haus to check out other items on the menu. Happiness ahead!

TJ Haus
27A, Jalan SS18/1B, 47500 Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-5636-4508
Click for: Directions via Google Map
Closed on the 1st and 3rd Monday

Creating successful Facebook pages (and related social media items) have to pay money one, okay!!!

I saw the The Malaysian Insider article, “RM30,000 for six Facebook pages not too much, say consultants” (link) and would like to comment on it. There’s a lot of ridiculousness in the comment section and it irritated me so I must get it out else Iโ€™d not be able to sleep at night. Which is an exaggeration so I may have to rephrase it: bla bla etc etc else Iโ€™d feel very uneasy inside for long time. That doesnโ€™t sound as serious nor important as not being able to sleep at night. Hmmm so should I be truthful and boring OR untruthful and important?

If you can’t be arsed to read the whole article, here’s the gist of it: there are a lot of ignorant people out there. Ignorant is one thing, bodoh sombong is another. Upon reading the news story, someone’s first reaction was, “WHAT, MAKE FACEBOOK PAGE ALSO HAVE TO PAY OMG MY 16 YEAR OLD CAN DO A BETTER JOB”

Like, herro please don’t involve your 16 year old in your foolishness. Damn shy later one okay. Unfortunately that’s a typical reaction by people who don’t know better, who think they know better and who are too proud to learn better. They are also most likely not to read my blog post (unless you sengaja forward it to them) so I can mock and scold however I please. For free, mind you.

There are a few issues from the news article to define/ sort out/ separate/ be addressed:

1: The Real Cost of a Facebook Page
Let’s see what goes into creating, updating and maintaining a successful Facebook page for a company or organisation. There’s the matter of creating a Facebook account and a Facebook Page (where you Like not Discuss) which is absolutely FREE (for now). Don’t say your 16 year old can do that, even my 6 year old nephew can do that with a few experimental clicks of the mouse.

Ok created a Facebook page already, then what? After ‘forcing’ your close friends and people who work for/with the company to ‘Like’ the page, what next? How do you get more people too ‘Like’ your page? “HEY COME AND LIKE OUR COMPANY/ PRODUCT/ ORG PAGE KTHXBAI”? Sure you can get a few clicks out of that but it doesn’t translate into 5,000 or 50,000 Facebook users liking it. Don’t believe me? You try and see lor…

Same goes for updating and maintaining. Sure it’s really easy to write a few lines with statuses, sharing links etc. But for a company with proper products and/or services, that’s not all that’s needed. Facebook Insight doesn’t tell you what people are talking about your product/ service so you the human computer have to monitor all that. Steer the discussion to the right direction. Answer questions from users or direct them to someone whom they can seek help from. From all this data, get ideas for future marketing campaigns which you’d probably need to work with the marketing department.

Things like developing Facebook apps for campaigns and running contests to get more audience requires planning, time and hard work. Beyond Facebook leh? Got Twitter, YouTube and so on. For companies with active products and services, this could very well be a full-time job with two or more people required in the department. All these work needs to be paid one, okay. So yes creating a Facebook Page is absolutely free. I’ll throw in a few free status updates as well. But what goes on after that needs skills and resources which is not free. Ask you to work for free, want or not? What, you don’t work for free? HOLY FUCK ME NEITHER! ๐Ÿ˜€

2: Tourism Malaysia Cuti2 Facebook Pages
Honestly I don’t know what goes on there because I have a life. If they need RM5k per month to update and maintain one page, then yes I think it’s fair. But I don’t understand why they need 6 pages? Also if the reports were true in the sense that they’re not being properly updated and/or maintained, then yes you the generous Rakyat have been ripped off… again.

Don’t like then vote in the next GE lah. Or turn the other cheek/ lift your arse higher/ join another nonsensical ‘1Million Malaysians oppose to this that and whatnot’ page on Facebook aka not really doing anything about it.

But understand the difference between RM5K for a successful and unsuccessful Facebook Page. And don’t undermine the paid efforts of social media projects.

3: Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Kal Joffres is quite cute. Really.