Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A French Father's Day Treat : L'Heritage, Royale Chulan

To be honest, yes, I WAS wondering where the fam would take me for Father's Day dinner this year. And it was a pleasant surprise when I was told we would be going French (French Italian to be exact). Not something common for us. I mean, even when I was in France, I had fish & chips. Haha!

Anyway, the destination was the L'Heritage Restaurant at the Royale Chulan. First time for me there as well. Since it was the night before Father's Day, the place was rather empty, which was fine by me. We got the full-attention of the service staff, at the very least.

After admiring the fine decor of the place, our 9-course chef's special meal started. Here goes (some selected dishes):

Foie gras

Oven baked black cod, caprese salad, petit calzone

Classic style minestrone with basil pesto

Sweet and sour lemon sherbert

Stone grilled wagyu beef, spinach ravioli, fava beans and balsamic glazed

Grilled lamb chop ala Romano, herbs papardeille and gherkin sauce

As you might already know, the French portions are really small, and the trick is to savour every well-constructed dish. Which was what happened, until we got to the sherbet. Suddenly, the tummy felt full, and it was quite a task finishing the wagyu beef, lamb and the desserts.

But overall, it was a wonderful and fulfilling dinner with excellent company, of course. Man, it's great to be a dad!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon

It was without a doubt one of the most satisfying things I've ever done in my life. Sure, I only did the 5km Run, but this being the KL Marathon, it had that extra bit of excitement and prestige. Really, just as recent as 3 months ago, didn't think I'd be part of the 22,000 that would cross the finish line at Dataran Merdeka, but I did it!

So here's the full recap...

I woke up around 4am yesterday and felt rather good, seeing how I went to bed earlier than usual. With all my stuff laid out and prepared the night before, I only needed a shower before getting in the car and driving off for the event.

But my worst fear suddenly came true: the route I wanted to take to get to the parking lot at Jalan Tanglin was closed, as by the time I reached KL, they had started the Full Marathon. Bummer!

But I had a contingency plan in mind, which was to take the train from somewhere and get to the Masjid Jamek station before walking to Tugu Negara for the 5km start. I then wound up in Brickfields, and after having my two pisangs and powerbar in the car, I headed to the KL Sentral monorail station before switching to the LRT from Hang Tuah. Train stations at 5am are very quiet, I can tell you :)

I hopped off at Masjid Jamek, and walked towards Dataran Merdeka...

It was close to 6am but the carnival atmosphere could be heard and seen. It was almost time for the start of the Half Marathon, and you could feel the excitement in the air.

I took a pee and waited to witness the start myself. Damn, 21km; these people are amazing lah...

Then it was time to head on to the Tugu Negara where the 10km and 5km starting point was. Yup, we had to walk quite a distance even before the actual event itself!

After much waiting, it finally started for me at 8am!

But it was quickly apparent that I had made a tactical error. Because I started at the back, I had to work hard to get past the slow coaches that included couples holding hands like it was a bloody walk at Teluk Cempedak!

After 2.5km, I felt a bit "pancit", but by the 3rd km, I found an extra gear and actually picked up my pace! (YES, I was actually running AND tweeting!)

The final km was actually the whole stretch of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, and with the right music on my iPod, and cheered on by random strangers, it was an awesome run to the finish line. I swore I had goosebumps as I imagined myself being in a remake of "Chariots of Fire" ...

And like I said, it was awesomely satisfying...

And here's my time as recorded by the iPod. Not bad, huh?

And to end the event on a high note, I treated myself to this...

Up next: the ntv7 Feel Good Run on 3rd July!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


So after a long, long layoff, I took to the courts last week for a game of basketball. Thanks to old bud Ean who's been pestering me to join his group of bball-ers that play every Wednesday, hati ini pun akhirnya terbuka. Haha. Also, a couple of guys from MHI were also interested, so "oklah, this should be fun", I thought.

We played at Sports Barn in PJ and since it's more of a futsal facility, there's only half a court of Bball available. Good enough.

In the end, it was a really good workout. It took me a while to get my game going, but by the end of it, I chalked up the Play of The Day. Uhuh. I went past Ally, ducked under another defender and finger-rolled it into the basket. Boom! (and no, I won't stop talking about it for now, Ally. hehe)

In case you didn't know, basketball has always been my game. Played during school and eventually got into the school team. Check out no 15...

And it continued during my uni days, where I played for the varsity team for no less than three University Games. Yes peeps, I was indeed a jock.

Only thing is, I'm lacking proper bball shoes now. See, those Air Jordans I'm wearing in the pic above? Think it's about time for me to get a new pair. Or four. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kias Ramadhan

Oh yes; pejam celik, pejam celik, it's almost the fasting month! And in case you didn't know, it's around this time that Ramadhan and Raya programs for TV are shot. Yup, nak tak nak, those involved have to get in the mood early to deliver the goods.

Where am I going with this? Well, this fasting month, there will be a show called "Kias Ramadhan" that features 2-3 short stories per episode, and looking at the title, you could guess the kind of slant the content will be adopting.

If you're still wondering what all this has got to do with me; well, last Thursday I was involved in the production of one of the episodes... where I acted in a couple of scenes. Yes, you read that right: "Acted". Haha.

The opportunity came when one of our MHI broadcast journalists was assigned to this particular job and he was the one who asked if I'd be interested to act. My only other acting credit was a small cameo in "Kerana Karina 2" on gua.com.my. But this time around I would have more screen time and lines.

Anyway, I said yes to it and last Thursday I attended the shoot at PNB Darby Park.

All in, it took slightly more than 3 hours to complete the scenes and I think I did a pretty decent job, although Rosyam Nor would have absolutely nothing to fear.

My watak? Well, I played a "boss" and I had to say stuff like "projek di Sweden" and "dah call Datuk tu?". Haha!

So, if they don't decide to completely edit me out, you'll be able to watch this sometime in August on TV3. Just don't expect too much lah...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Return To Perth: Rottnest Island

So another must-go destination for us was Rottnest Island. A bit of info on the place: Famous for its tranquil waters and secluded bays, Rottnest Island is a perfect day out. On arrival, hire a bike to explore the island at your leisure. Enjoy lunch at one of the cafes and restaurants, most offering spectacular ocean views then spend the afternoon enjoying the beautiful crystal bays.

Sounds good, huh?

Anyway, we made our way to Barrack Street Jetty that fine morning but was told that due to the winter season, the ferry ride to Rottnest would only start from Fremantle. Which meant, we had to take a shuttle to Freo before hopping on to the Rottnest Express. FYI, the return ticket for adults was AUD81 per person. Can't remember how much for kids though.

The ferry ride from Freo to Rottnest took about 30mins, and it was a really comfy journey. Most interesting part? I could still tweet right in the middle of the ocean using my BB with an Australian sim card. My question to Malaysian telcos: Kau mampu???

OK, back to Rottnest; we were simply blown away the minute we docked at the jetty. Blue skies, even blue-r waters and the chilly weather was perfect for a walkabout.

We then went straight to the Visitors' Centre to pickup some brochures and tickets for the hop on, hop off bus, since we didn't pre-book any other type of tour. But all very convenient I must add.

After a quick cuppa at the nearby Dome, we hopped on the bus (that begins its journey every hour only) and we were treated to some of the most magnificent views we've ever seen. The brochures weren't lying, this was indeed a slice of paradise blessed with clear waters and beaches and bays that begged you to explore.

On the advice of some Japanese tourists (I think), we went down at Parker Point and started snapping away.

Oh yeah, we were told that if we were lucky, we might catch sight of a local animal called Quokka. And we WERE lucky! So lucky that at a later point, these buggers literally terrorised us and refused to leave when shushed away. (must have been all the food in the bag)

From Parker Point, we basically walked on the solitary road for at least a kilometre until we reached the next point of interest. Check out some of my stylo photos. Chewah.

We hopped on the bus again, and enjoyed another brief ride, passing the Wadjemup Lighthouse and stopped at this bay (the name escapes me now), to have a picnic.

It was my intention to jump into the water to have a good swim, forgetting that this was actually winter and the water was simply too cold for anything more than just feet-dipping. But sorry, no pics here as I wasn't appropriately clothed. Haha.

We then caught the bus back to the mainpoint where, with an hour and a half to spare before the ferry took us back to Perth, we indulged in a little game of miniature golf. Best siot!

And then it was time to go back, but really, it was an immensely enjoyable day out in the middle of the Indian Ocean!


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