Monday, May 30, 2011

The National Youth Day 5km Fun Run: I Did It!

Yup, I did it. I finished my first running competition of the year. I mean... EVER. And the most awesome part about it? I had an absolute blast!

Woke up this past Saturday morning feeling fine and all revved up to go. And by 6.15am, I was out the door and on the road to Putrajaya.

But as usual, when you attempt to find a particular location in Putrajaya and/or Cyberjaya, you are guaranteed to get lost for a minimum of 30mins (It's in their town-planning motto, apparently). Which was what happened to me. But OK lah, by the time I reached the venue, things were all set up and I didn't have to wait too long for the start.

Oh yeah, apart from the running bit, this was also a work thing. Uh huh. I was also assigned to do a piece-to-camera for MHI. Nice.

So I started with the intro...

The camera then followed me as I was running... Power, OK?

As for the run itself, it really wasn't as tough as I expected. I took people's advice and stuck to my own pace throughout the entire run. Yes, I didn't run like an "anak kambing lepas kandang" when the starting gun went off. And even when girlie girls were passing me by in the beginning, I didn't feel the need to "macho up" and immediately "potong balik".

The result? I ran for almost the entire 5km and walked for only a couple of hundred metres. In fact, the race was 1km more than what's stated in the brochure (based on my ipod calculation), and overall I did that distance in less than 50mins. Pretty decent for someone who barely made it as a "belia" for this event.

The toughest part was the sun. Being used to running in the evening, the morning sun really zapped the reserve energy in my tank. And the bits of hilly parts were pretty tough as well for a "taman runner" such as myself.

But the feeling of finishing the race was pretty awesome. As can be seen here...

To your question: "Dapat nombor berapa?" No, I didn't get any "nombor" for the day, but I did get a huge amount of self satisfaction and a pretty nifty "sijil".... Woohoo!

Onwards to the Standard Chartered KL Marathon now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The National Youth Day Fun Run 2011

So, yesterday I made my way to Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil to pick up my race pack for the National Youth Day Fun Run. It was a really painless task as everything was well-organised.

I just had to check my name, grab a coupon and voila! the pack was in my hands.

My only "complaint"? Not sure why the running top is a collared tee. Hmm...

Anyway, a few hours later, I went for another run and I hit a personal milestone. 5kms under 40mins. Seriously, even my cats were impressed.

So yes, I'm ready for Saturday. Stay tuned for a field report!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Las Vacas Meat Shop

I remember distinctly the day I first heard about this place. A facebook friend (who’s also a colleague in real life), expressed his craving for a good steak and mentioned the name Las Vacas Meat Shop. It didn’t ring any bells for me at that time, but it got me intrigued.

I googled for the address, and drove from Bandar Utama to the place in Kelana Jaya right away after work. And lo and behold, the place…

…was closed. Argghh! Yup, the first thing you need to remember is that Las Vacas is closed every Monday. But I was not about to give up. And just a couple of days later, I was back there; all geared up for a real Meat Experience.

My first impression when I walked into the joint was that this place felt rather “homely”. With simple furnishings courtesy of your neighbourhood Swedish furniture shop (ahem) and random posters and drawings on the wall, I instantly felt comfortable. I was greeted by this guy, Freddy, who later turned out to be a co-owner, and he seemed sincere to make my visit a delicious one.

After surveying the meats on display (they’re flown in from Australia), and upon recommendation, I chose the Black Angus Rib-eye steak, medium-well. I know, I know, just the mere mention of that made you salivate, right? And I make no apologies for it.

The grilling didn’t take long and before I knew it, this majestic piece of meat was already served on a plate on my table. The steaks here are accompanied by a simple, no-frills salad and garlic bread, and there are a couple of sauce options on the table including grain-mustard and HP. But no, this being primarily a butchery, they don’t serve other “fancy” sauces like black pepper or lemon garlic.

I cut through the thick, yet tender steak and the first bite blew me away. It was perfectly grilled, and the meat felt so good in my mouth. The marvelous marbling made it a joy to chew and savour every single juicy bite. And adding just a dash of mustard made it even more heavenly.
Seriously, I felt like I was watching “Titanic” as tears threatened to fall shamelessly. But of course, these were tears of joy I’m talking about.

At the end of the steak, I was fully satisfied. I rubbed my tummy and let out a small burp. No one looked at me funnily cos I was sure everyone felt exactly the same way. It didn’t matter that it was a slightly pricy meal (RM28.00 per 100gms for the steak); this was money well-spent.
I’m somewhat of a regular now at Las Vacas. And apart from the steaks, I would also wolf down the big and juicy lamb burgers with the same amount of passion and gusto.

Great food, a relaxed ambience and they know me by name. Really, what more could I ask for?

Las Vacas Meat Shop
No.23, Jalan SS 5A/11, Kelana Jaya
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Monday, May 16, 2011

Running, Man!

So by now, you should already know that I'll be running in the ntv7 Feel Good Run in July. Although I hadn't run in years when I signed up for the event (I prefer eating and watching TV these days), it's given me the proper motivation to do just that.

I started a month ago, jogging and walking as far as I could (physically and mentally), and now it's becoming more serious for me. I actually LOOK FORWARD to running and feeling this fit is just simply awesome.

Of course, I need extra, extra motivation to keep this going. Which means, buying cool new stuff. Like the latest Nike+ shoes which is hooked up to the iPod. Nothing better than knowing exactly how far you're running and the calories burned. Here's what I did on my last workout:

Even crazier, I've also signed up for two other runs these upcoming two months:
1. The National Youth Day Run on 28th May (5km)
2. The KL Marathon on 26th June (5km)

Yes, I'm a Running Man now. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!: April 2011 Edition (Carnaval Churrascaria, The Apartment, Dancing Fish etc)

OK, OK, I know I'm late with this latest edition of "Food, Glorious Food", but been busy lah with stuff related to the previous posts you see on this blog.

But hey, it was still a big makan-makan month for us. In fact, I'm holding on to a couple more places which should be included in next month's edition.

Anyway, let's start with this Brazilian place. Yes, Brazilian! I.e.: Carnaval Churrascaria. "Churrascaria" actually means "steakhouse"and yup, it's all about meat, meat and more meat here. Located in Damansara Jaya (near the Maybank at Atria Shopping Complex), it went through a minor refurbishment recently, so it doesn't look as run-down as it did before!

And the unique thing about how the food is served here is that the meats would be presented on skewers and sliced for you upon request. Like so:

And they've got TONS of meat for you. Chicken in different styles, steaks, sausages, lamb etc. Here's my favourite: the rump steak!

And another must-slice is the grilled pineapple...

At RM50++ per head, it's REALLY worth the money. Apart from the meats, you can also help yourself to the buffet line that serves pasta, rice, vege and a whole lot more! But oh, do call for reservations if you plan to come by during the weekend.

Next up: The Apartment at KLCC. The location itself is pretty good, and I would recommend it for just chilling on a weekend afternoon.

We started with some Italian breads (God, I love breads), and these were pretty good with the different dips and sauces.

Then, we had what we're dubbing "the most expensive piece of meat we've ever had".

You might have seen this before on an episode of Top Chef: it's called Beef Carpaccio, and the price? RM25.90. Yes, that much for just a slither of beef. But you only live once kan, and I have to say that it's quite good.

The tapas mode continued with some crab salmon cake and baked mussels.

But the highlight of the day was this strawberry pavlova. Best giler!

At Pavilion one weekend, we decided to try something new and headed to Grandmama's for some nyonya food.

But bummer, they didn't have the very reason why we chose the place: sambal udang petai. So we ordered these instead...

The food's pretty decent lah, though slightly pricy. We would recommend the pucuk paku and also the fish.

And speaking of fish, let me introduce you to this excellent nasi padang place in Bangsar Shopping Complex: Dancing Fish!

As you know, we had an only so-so experience at the much-vaunted Bumbu Desa, but Dancing Fish was a different kettle of fish altogether. (OK, OK, I will refrain from using the word "fish" too much). It's actually an Indo-Malay restaurant and as such, it also serves this...

It's quite good, with just the right balance of syrup, milk and all the bits you love in an ABC. As for the food, we ordered the obligatory emping, pucuk kerabu, the prawn soup (which is a slightly milder version of the tomyam, but really good nonetheless) and daging empuk (yum, yum).

The highlight was of course the dancing fish itself i.e.: crispy deep fried fish served with a special mango sauce (there are a variety of sauces you can choose from actually). And it was excellent. Jackpot!

OK, how about some middle-eastern cuisine now? If you're game, our recommendation would be Tarbush Restaurant at Sunway Pyramid.

For starters, the premised look very elegant and, um, middle-eastern-y. And the service there has never really failed us.

On this particular trip, we ordered the Tarbush mixed grill and the chicken briyani.

Both were up to expectations and really, the meat served here is always fresh and grilled to perfection. The portions are also enough to share.

We also finished the meal with some baklava, a delicious desert that's pretty tough to make, or so I was told.

And finally, we also decided to go for a hi-tea buffet at somewhere swanky and new (ahem). So we ended up at the Makan Kitchen, at Doubletree Hotel by Hilton, Jalan Tun Razak.

The theme was "local delicacies", and so there were different stations for malay, chinese and indian food.

Here's the laksa johor. Decent, but only 70% authentic. Where's the chai poh lah?

But my favourite item turned out to be the humble roti john...

The Makan Kitchen's a really nice place to relax and eat on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You can really take your time, alternating between munching and reading/ipad-ing, and there's even a place for children to keep themselves entertained.

And the view's very "mendamaikan", as they say... :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Malam Gala "Nur Kasih The Movie"

Like they often say, "bahang kian terasa". In this case, the "bahang" felt was figuratively AND literally!

It was indeed a very, very warm evening last night at the Cineleisure, Curve where the "Nur Kasih The Movie" (NKTM) was held.

But it was a very "meriah" do, as eager fans and friends of the film flocked to the venue, all bursting with anticipation ahead of the screening of NKTM.

And here's a shot of some cool people... Haha!

And another one with the film's musical director, Hafiz Hamidun.

Also present were the majority of the film's stars including Remy Ishak, Tiz Zaqyah, Fizz Fairuz, Liza Othman and Sara Ali. Scriptwriter Mira and director Kabir (who btw, patted me on the back for the review on this blog) were also around.

There was also a small stage just outside the halls where Ally Iskandar (mustache and all), interviewed the celebs and gave away some prizes to lucky winners. Mila performed the film's theme song as well.

And what was the reaction after the screening? Well, most people were too emo or too messed up (literally, mascara running and all) to eloquently express what they felt about the film. Which is a pretty good thing, in my opinion.

And oh yeah, they also screened this pretty funny "tribute trailer" done by some fans before the movie started. Have a look...


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