Eat: COSANS Coffee, SS15

I have always liked the thought of spending time in a cosy cafe, with a book in hand if I’m alone or with friends; conversations over coffee and cakes. In reality though, that rarely happens. As with life, it’s easier to get lost with daily things to the point that you just don’t make time anymore. 

I actually don’t remember the last time I was in a cafe, enjoying a leisure drink with a catch up session with my friends. It was probably more than months ago. So, when a friend of mine, Jessica asked if I would like to attend a special event at a cafe, I immediately agreed. What I didn’t know what that the cafe actually specialises in coffee making, something that I have yet to acquire a taste for. I wouldn’t say I hate coffee, but rather I don’t know how to appreciate it. The ones I had before were bitter, and one packet of sugar is not enough but two packets is too much. I didn’t know the how and the what to drinking coffee. At COSANS Coffee, they had their master coffee specialist brew us some coffee as he explains the methods of brewing coffee; aero press and pour over (pictured above).

So much goes into brewing the coffee, because only the right method can bring us the best flavours of the coffee. Even the type of beans used, and the grinding method of the beans play an important role. It was a short sharing session, but it pretty much sounded like rocket science to me. The sips of coffee I had though was pretty much unique, and it was something I never quite tasted before. I didn’t know coffee could taste like that. First, sour and then with a bitter sweet lingering after taste. This I believe was something I would drink. I didn’t like coffee before because bitter was all I tasted.

Caramel Frappe | RM14

So, while coffee is somewhat alien to me, I love frappe with a passion. And I only take my frappe with whipped cream, thank you very much. I don’t frequent cafes that often but the ones I head to, besides Starbucks don’t serve caramel frappe. It was a pleasant surprise that they have Caramel Frappe here. To put it simply, I love this version more than Starbucks because the coffee wasn’t too overwhelming bitter. But it could definitely use a more generous serving of caramel and whipped cream. And now, here are some of the other drinks that the bloggers had too.

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Oreo Milkshake | RM12 regular

Hazelnut Latte | RM11 regular

COSANs Mocha | RM12 regular

French Vanilla Latte | RM11 regular

Asianese Roasted Chicken | RM12

Smoked Duckling | RM15

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Overall, I really loved the cosy setting of the place. There was something about the coffee that I liked but can’t describe much, because as you know I am no coffee expert at all. Come to think of it, I would love to learn more about coffee. In terms of how to tell a good coffee and what makes it good. Any coffee specialist wants to ‘date’ me out? If you’re a cute barista, that’ll be a plus point too. Haha. And, come to think of it, I am still waiting for COSANs to make specialized a coffee drink after me, since I won their grand prize that night. But the call never came.

Maybe, they secretly found out that I don’t take coffee and my tolerance to coffee is just two shot of espresso before my head feels like a helium balloon. Oh, wells. What I enjoy most on that night was the company of bloggers. I met the sweetest, most amazing bunch of bloggers that night and I do hope to see them again. 

Here’s a portrait of Emily.

Till next time,

Eat: Mr. Dakgalbi, Bukit Bintang

I have a sister, Clarrisha  who doesn’t look one bit like me and we’re both polar opposite, pretty much that. And she absolutely love all things Korean; she hogs the internet speed by watching the endless dramas, sings in Korean and even cook some Korean dishes. But there’s one dish that she hasn’t been able to cook and is the “dak galbi” dish.

And I never tried that before, in all my life….. until I went to Mr. Dakgalbi restaurant in Bukit Bintang. Actually, I didn’t even know what “dak galbi” was until I was inside the restaurant. I’m shameless enough to admit that, but hey, at least I’m being honest here. So, how was my first “dak galbi” experience?

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Mr Dakgalbi | RM19.00

You can see what the “dak galbi”  is made of from the picture. It is basically marinated diced chicken in a chilli pepper paste sauce, along with sliced cabbagepotato and tteok (rice cake) stir fry together on a hot plate. The waiter will bring in the tray as shown above, and then they’ll have a protective metal thingy around the cooker, in case the “dak galbi”  gets too excited. You’ll also be given an apron to wear to protect your clothes too.

Then, it’ll be left to cook for a couple of minutes on the hot plate. At this point, if you’re actually like me (who can’t cook) and you’re afraid it’ll be burnt, you don’t have to worry because the waiter will be cooking it in front of you. This somewhat reminds me of teppanyaki, except this is exactly at your dinner table! :D

 | This is pretty much how the “dak galbi”  looks like after being stir fried, and I will say this; it doesn’t look pretty. Haha. |

 | And, TA-DA! Here’s how it looks like when it’s done. |

If you’re wondering where the ramen came from, there is an option to add that on at RM6.00. So, it’ll be stirred fry together with the chicken and the end results would be the above. I’d say this was something entirely new for me, it’s a rather unique dish. How does it taste like?

Firstly, I usually take spicy food although I can (it’s a preference thing). I found this a little too spicy for my liking, but I was informed you can actually let them know how spicy you’ll want it to be. I was also told that the secret chilli powder used here does have its benefits. Amongst it are helping to reduce weight, effectively prevents skin aging and reducing stress. Watching them cook this dish was a stress reliever already, so I can vouch to that. ;) Other than that, I loved how well marinated the chicken was. I could just eat the chicken alone, or maybe with some white rice. The ramen was evenly coated with the chilli pepper paste sauce, if you love this sauce… You’ll just love everything of it.

Mr Dakgalbi with Ramen | RM19.00 + RM6.00

| Then, this happened! |

 | Turns out you can make Pizza Rice too, by just stir frying the rice with sauce and of course, with plenty of cheese. |

Mr Dakgalbi with Ramen and Rice | RM19.00 + RM6.00 + RM6.00

Jaengban-Noodles | RM17.00

And that basically wraps up the whole experience of eating “dak galbi”  in Mr.Dakgalbi, Bukit Bintang. I never seen one dish mutates into THREE different dishes right before my eyes, but hey Mr.Dakgalbi managed to do it! Haha, if you would like to see it and try it, you can always head on over to the place. 

61, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Near Low yat Plaza  Bukit Bintang
03-6206 5567

Open from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 11pm
On Thursday to Saturday, closing time is 12am.

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Till next time,

Snaps: The 90 minutes tease with Olympus 25mm lens

If you have been following the updates in the Micro Four Thirds world, you would probably know/read Robin’s Part 1 review of the lens. When I found out that he had the lens, I knew I had to see it and try it, because I have been waiting for this lens for the longest time. I had always wanted a lens with this focal length, so much so that I almost got the Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm f1.4. If the lens was cheaper, I would have gotten the Panasonic Leica. [If you're interested to read the comparison, you can read it here.]

This time around Robin and the rest decided to head to Petaling Street to shoot, which frankly was not my favourite location. They have already headed to the Pudu Market a few days earlier, so I agreed anyway with Petaling Street. It was a very short shooting session for me, because I had to leave for a Chinese New Year meet-up around 1pm. So, in total I had only 90 minutes with the lens and most of the minutes went to walking around the street, uninspired. I wasn’t too satisfied with the pictures, but these are the best shots of the day.

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And yes, that's all I had for the day. Finally having the 25mm in my hands feels different because I have trained my eyes with the 45mm focal length. That day after I left, I had this bitter feeling as though the 25mm hadn't been all that I expected. I expected myself to fall in love with it, just because I thought I would.

But I didn't. A couple weeks later, I realized that spending 90 minutes with a lens wasn't even accountable to anything. When I first got the 60mm, I loved it and then I hated it. When I got my 45mm, I hated how I didn't know how to use it. And now, the 45mm is my standard lens.

Having said all this, I know I've been too quick to judge and soon enough, I'll be eating my words again when I get the 25mm even though I made a vow not to get any lens this year. I'll also end up loving the 25mm more than I could ever imagine. Let me end the post with some other random pictures from the day.

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Group picture taken with the new pancake fisheye lens |

| The EM-10 |

Robin in action |

Till next time,

Snaps: CNY Dinner at The Royal Flush, Oasis Square

Before the Chinese New Year ended, I was invited by the awesome peeps at HungryGoWhere Malaysia for their Chinese New Year dinner at the The Royal Flush. I have heard about the place, about a year ago when they first opened and how gorgeous the place was complete with a moat-like feature too.

True enough, I wasn’t disappointed when I reached the restaurant. It was exactly like how I imagined it to be, rather grand and posh. The restaurant is actually located in Oasis Square, where the place itself is very gorgeous with a water feature in between two rows of restaurant. If you have been to SetiaWalk, it is something like that although I think SetiaWalk is prettier, with a larger space too.

For this post, I will not be talking about the food (this is not a food review post). I titled my post as [Snaps] so as to differentiate a photo heavy posts versus a food review or any other type of posts. You can think about this post as a #foodporn post. ;)

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Royal Flush Yee Sang with Salmon |

 Royal Flush Yee Sang with Salmon |

 Royal Flush Yee Sang with Salmon |

Double Boiled Top Shell with Ginseng Root |

Of all the soups that I have ever drank in my life (especially in Chinese restaurants), this was the the sweetest clear soup I have ever tasted. It’s hard to describe how the soup tasted like, but it was so good, that I could have 10 bowls of it in one go and I would come back just for this and this only. 

| Steamed Kampung Chicken with Dried Scallops |

| Steamed Dragon Garoupa Fish with Superior Soy Sauce |

 | Fried Prawns with Batter Sauce |

| Sea-cucumber Seasonal Vegetables with Abalone Sauce |

| Lotus Leaf Waxed Meat Rice | 

| Osmanthus Jelly Cake |

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And that’s all we had for the night. The service there was superb with the “captain” explaining each dishes and answering any queries we had, regarding the food. They even had the chef drop by to have a quick chat with us.

It is one of the perfect end to the Chinese New Year. :) Thank you once again HungryGoWhere Malaysia! By the way, I will be working on my pictures from the CNY holidays and I’m hoping to post them up soon. Do look out for that!

till next time,

Eat: Antonio’s Trattoria Calabria, TTDI

Before my visit to Antonio’s this time around, I have only visited them once last year. I have always been meaning to drop by again because I was absolutely smitten by the delicious food I had then. What I had during my first visit then, was their set lunch. It was a tuna pasta (I forgot the exact name of the dish), I don’t usually take tuna but I loved that! I honestly didn’t have much high expectation of it since it was only a set lunch. But it was good, quality food at a fraction of the usual price. That left a pretty good impression on me, and I vowed to revisit the place again.

So about one year later, I was back at the restaurant along with my favourite ladies for our Valentine’s Day dinner date. I had initially planned to head to a cafe for dinner, but a day before the dinner, the cafe called me to inform me that they would only be serving Valentine’s Day set dinner starting at RM79.90 for 3 course meal, with the main being some roasted chicken. Truth to be told, it was over priced for a cafe and I decided to head elsewhere. Lucky thing, I managed to make last minute reservations at Antonio’s just 24 hours before the actual dinner. I didn’t appreciate being told so last minute by the cafe, but I still respect that they did have the courtesy to at least inform me after all.

Anyway, back to Antonio’s. Before I go on further, photographing food in the restaurant was pretty difficult because it was dimly lit. The restaurant has a very cosy and comfortable ambiance, with no direct lighting at all. So, for me that was just a nightmare. I initially planned to shoot with flash, but I am a noob at it and the ceilings were pink in colour, so bouncing light of it is a no-no. I am left with either flashlights from phone or just shooting wide open, f/1.8. I personally didn’t want to use those pictures but I really did wanted to post about this place, so here it goes. :)

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 Escargots | RM22.00

I have an extremely weak spot for escargots, every time I see them on the menu… I’m most likely to order that. Pictured above is half a dozen of shelled escargots drowned in a creamy mushroom sauce and baked with parmesan cheese. This is heaven on earth, there were chunks of mushrooms in the sauce too. As perfect as it is, I wished larger escargots were used and perhaps, should be served with the shells (but still peeled, nevertheless). Without the shells, this dish looks ridiculously tiny and almost isn’t worth it. But luckily, the taste made up for it. My friend and I polished everything from the bowl. It is that good. You can also opt for a different cooking method; sautéed in olive oil but I am sure, the sauce would taste better.

 Breaded Mushroom | RM22.00

I wasn’t quite listening to my friends when they placed the order so when this came I was a little surprise. I didn’t know what it was, I took a bite of it and mhmm, it was juicy mushroom but fried with breadcrumbs and it was bit crispy on the outside. The texture for this dish was really different, it was soft and juicy inside, and outside, there were rough crumbs. Now try to imagine that. :) Having said that, this was a dish too simple for me. I would have rather order Baked Mussels for RM23.00 instead. Well, there’s next time. And I’ll try to cook something like this at home and see if I can.

 Carbonara | RM30.00

Two of my girlfriends decided on this, and personally, I would have too. But then again, I never really ate carbonara outside since my mom cooks them pretty mean, so my usual pasta choice is usually seafood when I’m having Italians. I had a quick bite of this, and it was the yummy creamy goodness that would rocket any cheese lovers to the moon. This was loaded with cream and parmesan cheese, but it wasn’t too thick for me. Although you may beg to differ if you do try to finish the whole plate, serving size was pretty huge and it is perfect for sharing. There is an option to have beef bacon or just chicken (as pictured above).

  Frutti di Mare | RM30.00

Please excuse me for my picture, but this was one of the better ones of all. It was a bit more difficult to compose this shot, because of the presentation of the dish. Personally, it was really messy to start out with, and it does feel as though the chef tossed everything together and he just wanted to get done and over with this dish. When I ordered this, I had no idea what the name meant, I had a feeling I would like it based on the description.

This had prawns (two to be exact), squid (tiny bits here and there), mussels (two also) and clams (plenty of shells, with not much clams’ meat), cooked in garlic and seafood sauce. My choice of pasta was angel hair, thanks to the waiter’s recommendation. I absolutely loved the taste of this, this was completely unique to me and it was just delish. There were plenty of garlic and the sauce, went really well with the whole dish. However, what I thought was a waste was the quality of seafood used in this. I can tell that they weren’t fresh and there were pretty small in size, unfortunately. Another thing was that, as I was finishing the dish, I could feel tiny residue of something that leaves a sandy feeling when you eat it. It could be sand from the clams (if it wasn’t properly cleaned or it could be bits of clams’ shell). I still enjoyed this, but it could have been much better.

The last time I was at Porta Romano with two of my friends, who were also here today, they preferred to order something more authentic Italian, staying away from the usual of spaghetti and pizza. We had salmon ravioli then and this time around, both the girls picked Ravioli – RM28.00 and Cannelloni di Pollo. I didn’t manage to get a decent picture of the Ravioli, so the picture of the Cannelloni di Pollo will do. The girls loved their ravioli, which was a vegetarian dish of pasta parcels stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, served in cream sauce. There’s an option for tomato and herb sauce too. The serving size though was little smaller, there were only like less than 5 parcels.

Cannelloni di Pollo | RM27.00

As for the cannelloni, I had no clue that they were actually stuffed pasta tubes. When the dish arrived, I thought it resembled the lasagne a lot since it is also baked in a creamy tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese. I did give this a try and it was pretty tasty, because the tubes were stuffed with chicken and spinach. When I took a bite of it, as yummy as it was I felt that the stuffing was tad dry. It’s probably best to eat it with a spoonful of the tomato sauce too, so that it’ll be less dry. The serving size for this was pretty decent, can be shared between two persons.

Bianco | RM31.00

One of my friends was feeling really adventurous and she wanted to try the pizza, so she ordered the Bianco flavour. It had sautéed chicken breast and mushrooms in creamy white sauce topped with mozzarella cheese. The cheese though as you can see from this picture is pretty much overflowing and if you love cheese, you will absolutely love this. I love cheese and I liked this, but I would still pick Domino’s any other day. I’m sorry, but actually not so sorry for my choice. The pizza is a thin crust with 8 slices, definitely made for sharing. My friend ended up eating two slice only, I ate half of a slice and another friend ate another piece. She ended up packing the rest of the pizza. Haha.

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And that’s all we had for the night. Since it was Valentine’s Day, the serving time took a longer time than the usual and I had a feeling that some of the dishes were cooked in a rush. I said so because the chefs has got the taste right, but very much lacking the oomph and yes, I am rather forgiving this time around. In fact, I would very much like to drop by again to see if what I thought was right. The price of the food was fairly reasonable; we ended up paying RM50 each per person including a drink we each ordered. We didn’t have any alcoholic drinks, btw.

32A Jalan Wan Kadir 4, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
03-7725 4164
Open daily from 10.30am till 3pm and 6pm till 11pm

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PS – It is located in the shop lots opposite TTDI Plaza. If you use Waze, you’ll be able to locate this restaurant. Parking is aplenty here, and you can enter the restaurant from the front entrance (facing the main road) and the back entrance (facing TTDI Plaza).

Review: NIVEA In-Shower Skin Conditioner

Malaysian weather is a hot, sunny and humid one, something that all Malaysians would undoubtedly agree with me. Growing up, I realise how important it is to take care of my face; I almost never leave house without wearing my SPF50 sunblock! I hate to admit that although I put so much emphasis on caring for my face, I cannot say the same about my skin. My hands and legs are pretty much exposed to the sun too, as I’m always outdoor too.

So, here’s the thing. I did try to make an effort to put on some lotion before I head to work every morning but more often than not, I’ll end up forgetting to put them on. Especially on those days when I’m in a hurry to get to work. But guess what, it’s like someone knew about all these and invented the best thing ever (for me, that’s what I like to think).

There’s a new product called the In-Shower Skin Conditioner by NIVEA, where you apply the product in the shower and wash it off afterwards. The amazing thing is that it works pretty similar as a hair conditioner, where you apply it on and you can rinse it off later. Except that, this is even better. You can apply it and immediately rinse it off, instead of leaving it on for a couple of minutes.