Monday, November 30, 2015

Review on K-movie Veteran 베테랑.

I managed to catch some sleep and even watch this new K-movie released this year on the airplane on my way back from KL to Melbourne. Well the pleasure of sitting in business class seat is never ending. I was treated to lots of food and desserts while watching this movie at my seat. OK let's get to it what's this movie about as it hit the record of 3rd all-time highest grossing film in Korean cinemas with over 13 million people watching it. 

Veteran movie is about Detective Do Chul (played by Hwang Jung Min) is a straight foward and hardworking person in the work force. He worked his butt off battling crimes and solving them. That is until he meets the 3rd generation chaebol Jo Tae Oh (played by Yoo Ah In). Jo's family owns SJ Group and is super rich but within the family doors there are plenty of feud between the family members. Tae Oh is always feeling inferior with his half sisters as he is the 2nd wife's son. His father Chairman Jo is sick but is still strict as ever. 

One day Do Chul's best friend who is a driver Bae (played by Jung Woong In) was innocently killed in staged up accident, he feels suspicious about the surrounding and the closing of the case. He starts to investigate and finds out that Jo Tae Oh and MD Choi (played by Yoo Hae Jin) are behind the murder. Driver Bae wanted to solve the grudge and payments from Chief Jeon but ended up in fights and his little witnessed the entire incident. The little boy told Do Chul how his dad got involved so he went to hassle Tae Oh at the company. MD Choi finds all ways to cover up and Tae Oh always get away from the mess. It's all about money and big connections since he's rich. 

Being spoilt as ever, Tae Oh gets whatever he wants. He is mean and cold towards those who don't follow his orders. When he gets super angry, he lashes out his anger at anyone by hitting them badly.

One day the so-called actress, Da Hye (played by Yoo In Young) whom Tae Oh has bullied numerously is pregnant and decided to tell him the truth. He was ruthless and decided to abort the unborn baby. He was trying to escape from the mess he has done. Chairman Jo asked MD Choi to take over the blame and surrender to the cops. Do Chul was angry and shouted at MD Choi for being silly to take everything to himself. Not giving up easily, Do Chul pursues on Tae Oh on the day before he leaves for Singapore. The two were literally fighting on the streets after their cars crashed on the public area. Do Chul managed to get the public filmed them on their phone cameras that Tae Oh actually assaulted a policeman.
So at the end Tae Oh was put behind bars together with MD Choi. Even with that amount of money, there was nothing they could do.

To be honest, Yoo Ah In has did his role pretty well. Stuck up and a pain the butt as usual. He definitely fits those bratty roles as usual. Now that I've seen him everywhere in films and dramas since he also finished filming Sado and currently Six Flying Dragons (drama), he's definitely a rising star.

Thumbs up for this movie! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Arashiyama and Nishiki Market trip 2015

Nothing is complete if you visit Kyoto, Japan and you must visit the tall serene bamboo grooves in Arashiyama. It's pretty easy to access there. First take the train from
Kyoto station heading towards Arashiyama. Once you exit the station, you will see tons of tourists and at the corner is the Sagano Romantic Train. The Sagano train is good to visit when it's full autumn foliage or spring bloom of sakuras- there's a fee to sit this special train.

From the exit of Arashiyama station, turn right into the little lane and you will see instructions and signs telling you to walk to the bamboo grooves. It's easy to locate as you will find many tourists and locals venturing to this place.

The grooves reminded me of the Chinese film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon where the fighting scenes took place at the bamboo grooves. Ha ha! 
It's free of charge and people often rent bicycles to ride along the pathways which proves to be a nuisance as people are walking calmly in the path lanes. Pfft!! I don't see the purpose to ride to the bamboo grooves when you can easily access it by walking. 

There are plenty of shops and restaurants awaiting at the main streets. We practically begin to shop a lot at a chopsticks store - one can engrave their names on the chopsticks and they are beautifully designed. There are many souvenir stores selling Japanese native products- biscuits, jewelry, snacks...etc.

We found a store directly opposite the little lane to the bamboo groves that sell green matcha ice cream for only JPY200. Usually it's JPY300-350 for an ice cream cone. But this elder man sells ice cream at a cheaper price. Love it!

Then you will see lots of trishaw peddlers asking for business...poor thing. They have to run along the roads while explaining the streets to the tourists. Not cheap to sit on a trishaw.

We walked along the Togetsukyo Bridge across the Oi' Bridge and we saw a bit of the autumn foliage at Mount Arashi facing the bridge. It's Japan national historic site and famous for locals to visit during Fall and Spring.

After venturing around Arashiyama for half day we decided to take the train back to Kyoto and head to Nishiki Market where its famous for its local delicacies and food stores. This area is covered and there are plenty of food and samples to taste. 

Nishiki Market consists of wet and dry area. The wet market has local fishmongers, butchers, florists...etc selling their products to locals and tourists. We often find tourists munching their way in snacks, fresh sashimi, octopus with quail egg (unique taste) and ice cream. We had a green tea parfait and Yozu set (consists of sweet mochi and sourish drink) at a local cafe.

There are shrines in the Nishiki Market and it's quite amazing we went to so many shrines and temples yet we don;t know what we are praying to! Ha ha! Somehow Shinto is the main religion in Japan followed by Buddhism and Christianity. 

Restaurant Nyonya Breeze at Straits Quay, Penang.

Nyonya food has been one of my main missions to eat when I go back to Penang. My grandmother took the opportunity to give us a treat at Nyonya Breeze Restaurant at Straits Quay in Penang. It was my last day in Penang before I head back to Melbourne after a long break.

So we went to Straits Quay and saw some Christmas charity celebration set up in the main atrium. Nyonya Breeze was formerly in Aboo Siti Lane. Prices for the food was a bit steep but it boosts a good quality and delicious Nyonya dishes. No regrets!
I love its Nasi Ulam- costs $11.90 per plate. Not cheap though... but filled with kerisik, daun kaduk, dried shrimps and lots of herbs in doubt it has to be one of my best Nyonya dish.

We ordered the Rosie's Special Chicken (deep fried and with red spicy sauce) it was nice!

Next we had the Jiu Hoo Char (stripped yam bean with carrots, mushrooms, pork belly)...nice! They have their famous deep fried spring rolls filled with meat, vege and mushrooms (Choon Piah). This is a must to eat in Nyonya food.

We also ordered the Assam Prawns and 2 plates of Otak-Otak (love this dish!) Otak-otak is a steamed spicy fish paste wrapped in dauk kaduk and spices. It's pretty difficult to find this in Australia unless you are a Baba-Nyonya who knows how to recreate this dish.

My grandma and brother loves this non spicy Sambal prawns - mostly in deep coconut milk garnished with dried shallots and cashew nuts. It's way too creamy for me but apparently Nyonya Breeze is the only restaurant who only knows how to cook this dish.

Mom also ordered pengat (dessert consists of coconut milk cooked with sweet bananas, sweet potatoes) and I had a Nutmeg drink. Altogether the bill was RM186.00 including GST.

Nyonya Breeze is located at 3A-1-7, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang, Malaysia.

Price: 8/10
Food quality: 8/10
Ambience: 7/10

Winter Warmers, Gurney Plaza Penang.

Winter Warmers has always been my mom's favourite place to go for tea as she is fond of its Rose Milk Tea. The place is rather small and crowded during lunch-tea time. Located outside the Gurney Plaza, it's pretty popular for its drinks and tea-cups.

The mango waffle delight with ice cream.
Blimey- there's my little Totoro at the background bought in Japan.
Once, mom and I went for tea-time, we had waffles along with the lavender milk tea & rose milk tea. Turns out the tea was quite sweet to my liking and the waffles were huge.
Waffles costs around RM19.00 for a stack of them decorated with fruits, ice-cream, sauces..
A pot of the milk tea cost around RM12.90 if I am not mistaken...

Another time we tried the traditional high tea set-3 tier (scones with jam & cream, cakes, petite sandwiches, chicken and tuna puffs, panna cotta, cookies) with 2 pots of tea for RM50.00 which was cheap and good. Well worth it!

It was shared among 5 of us. Not bad....
TWG in Gurney Paragon also offers high tea set but it might be more expensive and not as cheap as this one. 


I have tried the wedges during dinner time but it was not nice at all.
Costs around RM8.00 for a plate of deep fried wedges with sauce (but no sour cream!)
What a disappointment. My friends had their dinner set which I am not sure but the almond flaked glazed chicken sure looks nicer and better. They even had soup as a starter and finished up with a slice of mud cake and ice-cream. Not bad!

There is another branch of Winter Warmers at Straits Quay as it is bigger and gives more space than the crampy little store in Gurney Plaza.

Best Nyonya Kuih in Penang- Moh Teng Pheow.

My recent visit to Penang was filled with non stop eating and of course I must not miss out the famous Nyonya food which I was craving in Melbourne. No one else could create such fabulous Nyonya kuih as this shop did in Penang. Moh Teng Pheow is the name of this little shop that sells beautiful Nyonya kuih and dishes. My mom happens to know the owner of this place and she even taught the nieces in school ages ago.

You must try Assam laksa in Penang as its famous for it though this place doesn't serve the Assam laksa with lots of fish- I can't see any fish in it.

Chai Tow Kuih, Kuih Bengka Ubi Kayu, Kuih Talam (Green)


Rempah Udang wrapped in banana leaves, Pie Tee (yum!)

The owner of the shop is busy slicing out Kuih Talam that has been pre-ordered by customers and packing them up. Busy little place...
For those in Penang who knows the family business and original owner Tua Bak- the Nyonya kuih is famous and has reputable name. The ingredients were fresh and yummy.
Often my mother would order the kuih in trays for occasions.

The little place is located at off 10200, Chulia Street Night Hawker Stalls, Lorong Chulia, George Town, 10450 George Town- Penang, Malaysia.

The place is quite run-down and near to the Penang Heritage area- where lots of backpackers and hostels are around there.

Once you've eaten Moh Teng Peow's nyonya kuih- no where else could beat the taste.
Price per piece is RM0.50 and Pie Tee costs RM5.00 per plate while Laksa is RM7.00 and the same goes with Nasi Ulam (my favourite of all time!)

KIM's Korean Food at Tavoy Lane, Penang.

After many weeks of hawker Asian food, my mom's friend Aunt Teresa decided to give us a treat at nearby Korean restaurant- KIM's Korean Food. This restaurant is tucked behind the corner of 2 Tavoy Lane, Penang- Malaysia. Since the 3 of us are Korean drama addicts, this would be a good opportunity to try out this new restaurant.

The old house has been renovated nicely and interior looks splendid. The Korean boss hired local and foreign serving staffs. The menu was quite expensive and the food was very spicy.
Every dish that came out literally looked RED and spicy. Oh well I guess we ordered too much as well. For the 3 women, we ordered like 5 dishes.

Teresa has seafood stew (sondubu jjigae), I had spicy rice cakes (tteokpoki), Mom had bibimbap (rice hotpot). All of us also shared the stir fried spicy squid and Korean fried chicken with special sauce.

The fried chicken was a super let down- filled with lots of batter and too sweet sauce for my liking. No good! There wasn't much chicken meat in it so it was a disappointment.
There were better Korean fried chicken that I've eaten so far... sighs... 

The rice cakes were alright, the bibimbap was nice, so was the seafood stew. The stir fry squid was spicy and was filled with lots of onions too.
I don't know the price for the total dinner but I don't think it was cheap.

Review on Ah Chui Seafood- Paya Terubong Penang.

I was requesting to have seafood for dinner since I was on a long break in Penang. Often people tell me to go to Bukit Tambun and it's so freaking far. We don't know our way there so we opted to have fresh seafood at Paya Terubong- mostly recommended by my mom's friend. Ah Chui Seafood Restaurant is located at Taman Indah, 1238 T, Jalan Paya Terubong, 11060 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. 

If you are coming here, you will bypass Ayer Itam district and the famous Kek Lok Si Temple where you can see the Goddess of Mercy statue towering at the nearby hill. 

And here's what we ordered for dinner for 5 people- freshly grilled stingray (ikan pari) with the special onion sambal sauce. Steamed tofu topped with spicy sauce and green spring onions. Yum! The tofu is the cheapest around RM8.00-RM12.00

Their famous signature dishes consists of Hokkaido style ramen cooked in a earthware pot along with groupa fish, home made fish ball soup- it has herbal taste and goji berries in it and white wine. There's also a smaller plate of prawns. Yum! Then we ordered 2 plates of deep fried sotong (squid) We also ordered again the fish noodles as we didn't eat with any rice.



Altogether 8 dishes (as we ordered double for sotong and fish noodles), I paid RM240.00 and it includes drinks as well. It was all well worth it and we dished it all down less than 2 hours. The place often gets packed after 6pm so make sure you head there early to get a spot and car park. Most people who lived around the area knows this place very well. The boss and his son who manages this restaurant are pretty friendly and cheerful.

Food quality- 8/10
Service- 8/10
Price- 8/10 (reasonable and good)
Ambience- 8/10 (Clean and bright too)

Review on Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant, Paragon Gurney Penang.

During my recent visit to Penang in Oct-Nov, we saw a newly opened seafood restaurant in Gurney Paragon shopping mall. 

The first ever restaurant- Jade Palace was originally at Aboo Siti Lane inside Wisma Chocolate. It is famous for catering weddings and luxurious banquet dinners. Now it has opened its 2nd branch at Gurney Paragon S/C at the corner far end beside Padini store.

My brother has decided to give us a treat for nice lunch on a Saturday noon as we were contemplating to whether Japanese food at Rakuzen or chinese banquet. So we finally headed to Jade Palace. 

The place is brand new and well litted. It was only 11.30am so the staffs were only getting dressed up and also having their quick lunch since there are only 2 tables of customers. Mom did all the ordering for the food. We had salted egg prawns, stir fry scallops with vege, sweet pork ribs topped with almond flakes, steamed red snapper in their special spicy sauce & ginger and lastly braised japanese tofu in crab meat.

The dishes turned out to be quite good and delicious. Although we had to wait for a while for the cooks and staffs to officially get dressed up and started cooking, it was alright. Full blast air-con, warm tea served and nice comfy seats in new environment- we didn't mind it at all.
And what's the damage? My brother foot the bill and it was RM270.00.


The whole steamed red snapper costs RM80 (market price since seafood is expensive).
The scallops were also expensive but most of all is the 6% GST and service charge, braised peanuts and tea that costs the most! Tea, wet towels and peanuts were like RM10+ over.
Recently with the introduction of GST, it costs havoc everywhere as the public were literally cursing the useless Govt for imposing and feeding the PM's wife expenses. How true!
No doubt I don't agree having GST in Malaysia since its economy is so weak especially the Ringgit is nothing compared to major currencies.

Anyway overall the food experience at Jade Palace Paragon was satisfying.

Ambience- 8/10
Food- 7.5/10
Price- 8.5/10 (Expensive though)
Service: 8/10

Try it for yourself as a little treat for some occasion and you can order cheaper dishes if you don't feel like splurging out a lot. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yoo Seung Ho cute with his co-partner- a scottish fold cat.

Actor Yoo Seung Ho has a line up of movies and dramas for him. He has filmed Joseon's Magician with Go Ah-Ra. And then he's lined up for the 8 special episode of Imaginary Cat.
The drama is via MBC Every1. 

Webtoon writer Jong Hyun lives alone. He has stubborn personality and self centered so he finds it difficult to mix with everyone. That is until he meets Bong Gil the cat and takes him in. Bong Gil has then became his companion and friend.
Jong Hyun could not open up to anyone except to his cat.

Other characters were played by Cho Hye Jung, Park Chul Min, Solar, Kim Hyun Joon, Kim Min Suk and Lee El

I have to give credits to the furry 4 legged friend as he's just cute as ever.

Watch the teaser or trailer on line and you will fall in love with the scottish fold cat.
Bong Gil reminds me of fat Garfield the cat.

The drama runs on Tuesday from 24th November until 12th January 2016.

INFINITE's World Tour 2016 dates.

Boy band INFINITE will be starting its first leg of World Tour 2016 on January.
Their world tour will begin from Vancouver, Canada and then venturing down to Los Angeles, Mexico, Santiago, New York before wrapping up the last stop at Hong Kong.

The boy band has confirmed their hot popularity ever since they finished the first world tour last August from Seoul, Taiwan, China -covering 12 countries around South East Asia including Europe. 

The agency has mentioned the boys has promised to deliver a better show for their 2nd world tour.

Good luck to the boys! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Nara and Hiroshima Trip 2015

One must never miss these two important spots in Japan- Nara and Hiroshima. Once you are in Osaka, these two places are never too far away. With the JR Pass, you can utilize the bullet trains as much as you can. We reserved the seats for our shinkansen train. As for Nara, we boarded the Shinkansen and reached at JR Nara station. From there, you can board the bus straight to Todaiji Temple where its listed as UNESCO heritage featuring the huge bronze Buddha. There were many tourists and local students visiting the place. 

From there you will see tons of deers roaming around the area asking for food. There are various street vendors selling the

senbei (deer crackers) to feed them. A pack costs JPY150. The deers will come swarming towards you, head butting you for more food. It was quite an experience and you will see some of their horns were saw off to prevent injury towards visitors. The Kasuga Shrine is not too far from Todaiji and you can easily walk there to visit the many Japanese stone lanterns lining up the area.


Hiroshima is one city that suffered the massive blew up from the nuclear bomb dropped by the US soldiers as a revenge for bombing their Pearl Harbour. The only building that survived in the WW2 was the A-Bomb Dome. It was designed by a foreign architect but now its old dusty looking Genbaku Dome is one that survived where the rest of the city has been flattened out and generations suffered from the radiation. Local school students were brought to visit the place to remember those who have died and the Cenopath was build with a flame to seek for all nuclear weapons to be destroyed. 

We were on a super amazing race from Osaka to Hiroshima as the most important tourist spot was the floating torii gate at Miyajima Island. The big floating torii gate is the iconic spot at the island where one needs to board the subway to Miyajima and then ferry to the island. The island is also famous for its oysters. 2 big oysters grilled costs JPY450. We even ate the seafood okonomiyaki topped with oysters. Hiroshima has its iconic cookies and biscuits filled with custard or  cream in a shape of maple leaf.