Archives for December 2011

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 😛

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
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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 I’d not be able to sleep at night. Which is an exaggeration so I may have to rephrase it: bla bla etc etc else I’d feel very uneasy inside for long time. That doesn’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! 😀

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.

Samsung Malaysia, whither fairness?

When the Samsung Galaxy Note was launched, my housemate Kerol went to Pavilion to get a unit bundled with a Celcom package. It was supposed to be the best phone ever, unfortunately she didn’t get the chance to experience the awesomeness of the phone then.

She took it home, left it to charge for many hours (as you do for new phones). When it was fully charged, she took it out and played with it a little. She noticed that the battery life was ridiculously short. Later she found out that it was due to the instability of the phone’s network connection. In short, the phone constantly looked for available networks and if you’d know anything about this, you’d know that this would quickly zap up the battery.

Kerol thought it was a SIM card problem and so had it changed. It wasn’t. So she went to the Samsung customer service in PJ. Upon inspection (and after upgrading the software etc), they told Kerol that the problem must be a hardware problem and asked her to send it in for repair.

Err… is this fair? A phone is not like a house or a car where the amount spent and commitment to pay is so great that you can’t get a new one if the one you received had defects. In any case, she received a faulty unit from the start and I thought the right thing for Samsung to do was to apologise and replace her unit with a brand new one.

So Kerol sent an email to Samsung customer service, telling them what I just told you. And that she doesn’t want the phone repaired, she wants a new one as replacement. Samsung customer service emailed back, asking her to “back up your data and send your mobile phone to the nearest Samsung Customer Service Center for further verification before any decision for replacement.”

Throughout the few phone conversations asking for updates on the situation, Kerol maintained that she wanted a new unit because she was sold a defect one through no fault of hers, and it wasn’t right for her to only get back a repaired phone. To cut the story short, they changed the phone’s motherboard and told her to collect it. In the end she had no choice but to collect, bound by personal reasons (such as needing to sell off her current phone and that Celcom’s already charging her for service).

I thought it was VERY unfair for Kerol to not get a brand new unit. I thought it was very disgraceful of Samsung customer service centre to push the fixed phone on her. I’ve been singing Samsung’s phones’ praises to all and sundry and it was partly my persuasion that made Kerol decide to get the Samsung Galaxy Note. The desirable and awesome phone is all but marred by the irresponsible, shoddy, “not our problem” customer service.

What do you think?