Snaps: Macro Shooting at Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur

Before I go on about the macro shoot at the Butterfly Park, I have to share with you something awful that happened to me a week ago. As someone who photographs a lot, I have a horrible back up system. Actually, I don’t even have a back up system in place. I have all my photos and my LR catalogues stored in one, just one HDD with the last backup in November 2013. After every shoot I transfer all my pictures into that one HDD, and wipe my memory cards clean. Then, one day, my HDD crashed. I can access my files but they wouldn’t load and I can’t extract them from the HDD. I could send it to a data recovery centre but it’ll cost, maybe about RM200-RM300 (or more) to recover 1TB of data.

I’m thorn, honestly. This incident left me rather heartbroken, that I didn’t touch my camera for a week or so. I was pretty much upset during this entire time, and I only have myself to blame. I’m probably going to try to send the HDD to the centre but if it cost me too much, I am all ready to forgo everything in that HDD. So, basically I have start afresh. From all of my catalogues, to taking new pictures… Sighs.

I worked on the pictures from this macro shoot at Butterfly Park before the HDD crashed, so I have the post-processed pictures (and resized) but not the originals or the edits done in Lightroom. So, here it is.

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All pictures were all shot with Olympus EPL-5 handheld with the Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 macro lens; ISO 200 and an aperture between f/4 to f/10. Flash was fired remotely in some of the pictures.

Eat: Tai Lei Loi Kei, Taipan USJ10

I only ever heard of all the amazing food abroad, and up to date, I have yet to try many foreign countries delicacies. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that hopefully next year onwards, I’ll be travelling elsewhere to eat and photograph it! But, while I’m still here in Kuala Lumpur, I can strike Macau Pork Bun off my list of food to eat! This delicious porky buns can be found in none other than Tai Lei Loi Kei.

The restaurant which is similarly modelled after a fast food franchise, where it is self service and you place your order over the counter. You will conveniently find the complete menu in a board close to the ceiling, like many other fast food chain. And just like a fast food chain, they have various outlet locations as well. At the moment of publishing, they have a total of 17 outlets in KL alone and they are looking into expanding into other states. You can find the complete list here.

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 Signature Pork Chop Bun | RM12.90

 Polo Pork Chop Bun | RM12.90

 Polo Pork Chop Bun with Egg, Ham, Luncheon Meat & Cheese | RM20 (approximately)

 Signature Pork Chop Bun with Egg, Ham, Luncheon Meat & Cheese | RM20 (approximately)

I knew I’ll be eating pork buns but what I didn’t expect was to have a whole slab of pork chop snadwiched in between my buns. It had a different feel to eat pork chop this way, I tried to eat it first all together like how you’ll eat a burger, and the next time, I ate it separately. Not because it was tastier the second way, but because I wanted to try just the pork chop on its own. And with that, I can tell you just how amazing their pork chops are. I have eaten other types of pork chops before, but this was very well marinated and even though there is no accompanying sauce, the meat itself was tender and juicy. YUMS.

There are two options for the bun; signature bun or Polo bun (pineapple). I would say the Polo bun appeals more to me because I have in my lifetime, always always wanted to try these pineapple buns  but I never been to Hong Kong/Macau and I don’t know where to find it here. Even though the Polo bun is sweet and the pork chop is salty, I found the combination savoury and rather lovely.

Pork Chop Soup Noodles | RM12.90

Pork Chop for the Pork Chop Soup Noodles 

  Fish Ball Soup Noodles | RM12.90

These noodles here, look pretty similar to ‘wan tan’ noodles, but do not be mistaken because there’s noodles are actually purely made from duck’s egg. As such, the texture of the noodles is also very much different than the ‘wan tan’ noodles. It’s more springy and it also doesn’t become soggy too easily. The soup base for both the Pork Chop Soup Noodles and Fish Ball Soup Noodles is the same, which is made from anchovies. It was a deliciously simple broth which I can eat it simply, just like that.

 Fish Ball Curry Noodles | RM8.50

Similar to the noodles above, the same noodles and fish ball are used to cook the Fish Ball Curry Noodles. The difference is that this is a curry soup, which was unlike the typical curries one you’ll find outside. This one had santan in it but it was still light, not too overwhelming. It reminded me of nyonya laksa, so you can roughly imagine how much lighter the soup is compared to thicker curry soups.

 Chicken Chop Bouncing Noodles | RM12.90

Like the Pork Chop, I found the Chicken Chop rather well marinated as well. This I found out was due to a special machine used to marinate their meats, which will ensure that the meat is fully marinated. And best part of this, was that the marination was done just perfect. Not too salty, but just nice.

 Supreme Chicken Chop Rice with Egg | RM12.90

Yeap, the chicken chop used in Chicken Chop Bouncing Noodles is the same as Supreme Chicken Chop Rice with Egg, except that in the rice version there are sinfully delicious buttery sauce poured over the chicken chop. Yumms. Other than that, the rice is also drizzled with a special dark sauce. To be honest, I would prefer to drizzle or pour my own sauce myself rather to have it done and served to me. But, that is a request you can ask from the kitchen or when you’re placing your order to have your sauce separated.

 Macau Chicken Wings | RM9.90

Other the main dishes, Tai Lei Loi Kei also has snacks like the Macau Chicken Wings and Macau Curry Fish Ball. I have an absolutely soft spot for chicken wings, so I’m bias towards any chicken wings. I will say the same applies from the ones from Tai Lei Loi Kei. I like it, I could probably finish the whole plate here and ask for more. But I can’t say the same for the Macau Curry Fish Ball, the curry was too powderful for my liking. I hope you got the pun, because I meant to say the curry was all powdery and nothing smooth as all with the gravy. :(

Sawdust Cake (Chocolate/Original) | RM5.50

If you ask me, I would have wanted to try this dessert in a heartbeat, just because of the name. It’s rather cute to name a food over something that you technically can’t eat, but looks so 100% similar to what the name suggests. Of course, it’s a relief to know that it’s not actually sawdust I am eating but really fine biscuits crumbs. I like the original version more, because the texture was bit harder than the other chocolaty mousse. And the best part is the original flavour which is just made from milk, feels more like cheese. Like soft cheesecake, but the manager insists that it’s just milk!

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&. Thanks to NomsterAds and Tai Lei Loi Kei (Taipan branch) for having me. +

Eat: Takumi Japanese Fine Dining, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur

Nestled within the grounds of Grand Millennium Hotel is a newly opened Japanese fine dining restaurant called Takumi. Takumi is rather fresh in the fine dining scene, having just opened a couple of months earlier. A brief look into Takumi's Facebook, and you can see from the short description that Takumi offers the ultimate Japanese gastronomic experience. Seeing that this would be my first proper fine dining experience, I had my expectation higher than my usual, already high expectation of the place.

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Kani Salad | RM18 (small) RM28 (large)

We started things off with Kani Salad which is a crab salad served with a tangy sesame sauce. On first look, the crab meat looks somewhat similar to those shredded filament crabsticks. Don’t be fooled because it’s pure Taraba crab meat which have been air flown from Hokkaido, Japan. Super fresh crab meat, and I would love to eat it boiled just like that without the salad, I’ll be fine too. Haha. 

Kani Salad | RM18 (small) RM28 (large)

Sashimi Platter | RM180

Then, we were served with the exquisitely looking sashimi platter, complete with fog from the dry ice. It was a sight to behold, having it presented in such glorious manner. There were six different types of sashimi, Spanish mackerel, tuna, kanpachi, scallop, salmon and halibut. I loved how fresh the rest of the sashimi was; it was smooth, with just the right cut. One dip into my wasabi soy sauce, and next into my mouth …… it was just #foodgasm! I swear it was that because there is no other feeling quite like that.

My favourite of the lot would be the Spanish mackerel, I never knew that it could be served as sashimi. It was really great, because it didn’t taste anything like the usual sashimi. It was extremely thinly sliced, and mhmm I cannot find words in my vocabulary to even describe it. 

Lobster Mentaiyaki (half) | RM78

This arrived next, and for a moment I thought it was a really huge gigantic prawn. Well, it is actually half of a Boston lobster cooked with cheesy Mentaiko sauce with enoki and shitake mushrooms! I will marry the chef who came up with this dish because it was just delicious and really, it was the best combination of my favourite foods ever. It is served on a bed of salt, because the Japanese is superstitious like that. It is purely part of the decoration and not to be eaten at all.

Lobster Mentaiyaki (half) | RM78

Kawahagi fish | Seasonal price

Then, we had the steamed kawahagi fish which was for me just steamed fish. It had an odd bitter aftertaste, something tells me that you’ll need an acquired taste for this fish. The manager of the restaurant, Johnnie mentioned that this kawahagi fish was more famously eaten as sashimi dipped in the same fish’s liver sauce. Just from his description of the sashimi, I have already made that a must try delicacy when I’m in Japan. Or if it is ever available in Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur.

Kawahagi fish | Seasonal price

Chicken Curry Cutlet Maki | RM30

I have never been a fan of sushi or maki alike, because of the rice. Not to say I don’t enjoy it but it really depends because when I crave for it, I can eat loads. This dish although is a type of maki, is actually cooked in a rather different way. They used fried chicken cutlet, and in fact the maki have been deep fried too resulting in a crispy ‘skin’ with soft fluffy rice on the inside, and also the crunchy chicken. The sauce gave it a mild hint of curry flavour, just nice and it goes well with the dish.

There’s a saying that goes, save the best for last. I couldn’t agree more because the last dish we were served was the Shabu Shabu. A pot of clear broth was brought on to the table, followed by a platter of neatly arranged vegetables and finally, two plates of sliced fresh meats. 

A5 Wagyu Sirloin Beef | RM280

I have only heard of the wagyu beef and just how delicious it was, but I never knew what made it so good. The secret was actually in the marbling of the beef; the better the grade of the beef, the more marbling the beef would have. These marbling are actually unsaturated fat, but trust me, you will never have eaten “fat” this good. The waiter mentioned that the best way to cook these wagyu beef in shabu shabu, was to cook it till it’s about 60-70% done. That way, the “fat” will be retained within the meat leaving it still juicy and soft chewy. If you overcooked it, all the “fat” would then turn into oil and it goes into the broth. Personally, I prefer to have it cooked at 70%, where part of the meat are still raw because you can taste how silky smooth the meat is in your mouth. This is just another #foodgasm again!

Angus Beef | RM88

We also had the Angus beef, which was really good as well. It was meant to serve as a comparison between the wagyu and the Angus, and yes the difference was quite noticeable. But the Angus was still great, but a different league from the wagyu, that’s for sure. :) We ended our meal with a beautifully decorated fruits platter, which was made by one of their talented staff. They were almost, too cute to eat. 

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&. Thanks to HungryGoWhere Malaysia and Takumi Restaurant for having me. +

Snaps: Breakfast at Imbi Market

Hello! Before you go on thinking that this is a food post, it actually isn’t.

Just needed to let that off my chest, because there is an expectation that comes along with being a food blogger, which I don’t call myself that. Yes, granted that most of my contents are food related but I can’t call myself a food blogger. Friends start looking at me for suggestions on where to go and I just feel this intense pressure of recommending places that they may not like. I just really really enjoy shooting food, I find them rather photogenic. So, I’m just a blogger, uhmm kays?

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A couple of weeks ago, I was in Imbi Market for breakfast with some of the guys I usually shoot with. Except for that weekend, we were finally doing ‘normal’ things friends do. I’d say normal because from every single time we meet, we’d be shooting on the streets followed by a quick meal. And that’s it, we never quite sat down just to chat and catch up. That’s when I suggested to them; to do breakfast, sit down and just chat. Haha.

We ended up in Imbi Market because I came across a post by TimeOutKL about how amazing this market was, and when I Googled it up, there were so many posts by real, food bloggers about it! So, we decided to head there and the best part was Jackie brought his friend along who knew the uncle who sells the famous Hainam coffee and we got VIP seat. I am not even kidding, because the table has a VIP sign on it.

I didn’t take a picture of that, but me being myself, I took pictures of everything we had that morning. :) I didn’t use my usual lenses, instead I used a completely manual CCTV lens; it’s called the Wesley 24mm f1.4 CCTV lens. Since my camera doesn’t have focus peaking, I borrowed Jackie’s EM-1 to shoot with this lens. The pictures won’t be as sharp as my usual photos, but with a lens that only cost about RM100 plus, I am not complaining.

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| Hainam Coffee |

| Innards Noodles |

| Crispy Popiah |

| Apam |

| Egg Tarts |

| Ginger + Egg + Rice Wine Noodles |

| Dried Noodles |

| Wan Tan Mee |

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Till next time,

Review: SEKKISEI Basic Travel Set by KOSÉ

Most ladies all around the world would agree with me when I say taking good care of our skin is one of our top priority in life. Who’d say no to looking beautiful and radiant, right? Recently, I attended a beauty workshop by KOSÉ with a few of my friends, whereby we had the opportunity to learn the basics of skincare using the SEKKISEI range.

These were the products we got to use during the beauty workshop; we started using them in the order from the left to the right. From the outermost left, is the Cleansing Cream, followed by the Lotion which can be used with a special compressed mask to become a mask, and the Emulsion, finally the BB Cream. We were guided through each steps of the skin care products, including the proper way to apply and use them.

These pictures are basically show you what went down during the beauty workshop, most of the pictures except the ‘selfies’ one were taken by one of the super nice guy from KOSÉ, who took my camera and helped me shoot while I was busy listening and following the instructions of the steps. This was my first time attending a beauty workshop which covered the basic skincare and up to even doing out make up on the spot.

And after the workshop, we even got to bring home our very own, SEKKISEI Basic Travel Set for us to use and to review, of course! Like most travel sized goodies, there are compact and adorably sized, which makes them extra convenient to carry around.

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Personally, I have a very strict regime for my skin that I stick to after fine tuning it for years. But here’s the thing, I have heard really good reviews for KOSÉ and now, I have the whole basic set with me. Then, I thought why not try it and see how it’s like. So, here’s a short review on the products.

| White Liquid Wash |

First impression of the wash, is that it is very smooth and almost watery-like. When you place it over your wet face, there won’t be much bubbles (I have heard before that bubbles are not actually that good, correct me if I’m wrong) and it’s just really easy to apply it over the face.

I realised it was quite gentle on the skin, and there isn’t any noticeably strong fragrance, but rather it’s a more natural smell. This is because the whole SEKKISEI range are made prominently with natural extracts of Chinese herbs. 

| Lotion |

This is called lotion, although we may be more familiar with calling it toner. It acts almost similarly to a toner, and the application of it is also similar to that of a toner.

Pour the lotion on to a cotton pad, and pat gently over the face. I like how quickly it was absorbed and it left my skin feeling rather light. This product contains whitening effect with the extracts of Angelica root, Coix seed, Melothria root extract and Licorice which have detoxifying effect. Besides using it as a lotion, you can also use this lotion as a mask. During the workshop, we actually used this lotion with a compressed face mask as our face mask!

Here is a picture of the compressed mask with the lotion in action. See how it expands when it is dipped in the lotion? And this is the same mask we had on our faces, in the pictures above! Super duper uber cool right? :) This lotion is rather amazing because it has tonnes of benefits; it promotes translucency, better penetration for the skin to absorb the nutrients, moisturizing, zero pores, whitening, smoothing, firming, relaxing and evenness of the skin tone.

| Emulsion |

This is called the emulsion, or in other words, it is pretty much similar to a moisturizer. The application however, is bit different from the typical ones where you apply straight on to your face with your fingers.

As you can see, the emulsion is really really light and watery as well. Hence, a cotton pad is used and like the lotion above, you can lightly pat it on your skin. Again, I love how lightweight this product is on my face, and it really doesn’t leave a ‘sticky’ feeling. Similar as the lotion, it also contains whitening extract but in addition to that, this has Inula Britanica Flower extract to brighten the skin and also Paeonia Albiflora Root extract for detoxification.

| Sun Protect Gel |

Like the few products above, this sun protect gel is actually a sunblock with SPF50/PA+++. And the best part about this, is that it also doubles up as a make up base. This for me is pretty much a winner for me, because I am so often confused as to when should I apply my sunblock. Before or after, my make up base?? But with this, I never have to ask myself this anymore, haha!

Just like the rest of the product from this range, it is very lightweight and this feel velvety after the application, which makes it perfect as a make up base. In my honest opinion, I quite like this sun protect gel, because it is very absorbent. The ingredients used for this are; Glycerin, Coix Seed essence (to moisturize), Angelica essence, Melothria essence (to whiten) and Sasa Veitchii essence as an antioxidant.

And here’s a picture of some of the oriental plant extracts that KOSÉ uses in their SEKKISEI range. Personally, I think this is the first time I heard of a beauty brand who promotes and uses oriental herbal plants in their products. I have always felt that natural products work better than chemical ones like how I swear by my simple tomato mask.


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I have to admit that this post have been a rather lengthy one because I wrote briefly about the KOSÉ beauty workshop, followed up a review on each product in the SEKKISEI Basic Travel Set by KOSÉ and now, I have a little surprise for you. :) Because you have read my post all the way, so I have a GIVEAWAY for my lovely readers! And it is the Sekkisei Lotion Mask! This mask already have the lotion essence it in and it’s like the mask sheet. Tried using it and I have mad love for it!

If you're interested in getting the SEKKISEI Lotion, it is available in 200ml for RM170 and 360ml for RM260! :) You can get them at KOSE counters, nationwide.

So, how do you win this? Super easy peasy, all you need to do is answer two simple questions below, by leaving a comment on my blog. The contest period is from 12th March – 12thApril, and each winner wins one pack which contains two sachet of mask.
  1. What are the 3 main ingredients used in KOSÉ Sekkisei Lotion Mask?
  2. Name one of the benefits of the KOSÉ Sekkisei Lotion Mask.
So, just leave a comment with your answers to the two questions and email so that I can get in touch with you. Hint: The answers can be found in my post. You don’t need Google to help you with that. Good luck and share this lovely giveaway with your friends! Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to a great beauty product!

And currently, KOSÉ Malaysia is having a Miss Sekkisei Cinderella contest, where you stand a chance to become a modern princess with beauty workshops to groom you into one! It sounds like tonnes of fun already!

Till next time,