Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Breaking the image of a pizza through ‘PizzArt’ (Part 1)

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Ah, pizza. It is arguably the world’s most popular food. You immediately have an image of yourself biting a slice of it at your favourite restaurant. Or perhaps you have seen some pizza-related advertisement from various media. You’ve probably even used a pizza icon on WhatsApp. Whatever it is, I can almost guarantee the appearance of your pizza would look like this:

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Classic.

The signature flat, round shape, cut into triangles.

Without a doubt, pizza is a beautiful dish to look at (and of course with the cheese and all kinds of toppings, it’s delicious!). It’s so iconic, you can just show a picture of it in a foreign land and people would likely know where to get it for you.

What if I told you there’s actually other form of pizza…especially that doesn’t come in a flat, round shape? Ok, you’ve seen a square-shaped one somewhere…but what I meant includes a totally different way to eating a pizza as you know it?

Time to break that image of a pizza, and find new excitement and love of the famous flatbread through PizzArt!

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If you’re gonna wait, might as well imagine what it taste like!

What exactly is PizzArt?

That was my first question when I was offered the opportunity to write about Anchor Food Professionals’ new campaign. The launch of their campaign was in Sibu, much to my initial amusement. Why Sibu leh?? That said, having not been to Sibu all my life (despite being a Sarawakian), and having discovered their initial launch in Kuching was delayed by unforeseen circumstances, I just have to do a “holiday food trip” down to Swan City.

So on 19 August 2017, I arrived at the Bistecca & Bistro Steak & Wine Bar in Sibu. Naturally, it was a restaurant appropriate for introducing artisanal pizzas. At the restaurant, I was introduced to Ms Linda Tan, Director of Anchor Food Professionals Malaysia, as well as the owner of Bistecca restaurant, Chef Anvil Nen.

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Ms Linda Tan, explaining the idea behind PizzArt

According to Ms Linda, “Malaysians are increasingly leading busier lifestyles and are grabbing food on the go or dining out. Our insights show us that Malaysians generally love pizzas. We wanted to excite them further by taking the enjoyment of pizza a level up by introducing extraordinary, gourmet pizzas that are taking the world by storm. If you love pizzas, then this is a must try.”

As for Chef Anvil, he’s genuinely excited to be working together with Anchor Food Professionals and be able offer something new for his customers.

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Chef Anvil, with his passion for food. An inspiration for the inner-chef in me!

And which customer of his wouldn’t be excited about it anyway? Together with social media influencers Melvis and Jordan, we’re one of the early Sarawakians to enjoy three of the five pizza masterpieces: Adjaruli Khachapuri , Pot Pie Pizza and Mini Muffin Pizza. The other two are Pizza Bomb and Flower Pizza. Unfortunately the Flower Pizzas are yet to be available…but I’m sure we’ll get to enjoy that complex-yet-intriguing pizza before the end of the campaign (mid November 2017).

So, after the formalities of Ms. Linda’s speech and introduction to PizzArt, we now go to the whole point I took a bus to Sibu for: testing out the hispster-approved pizzas! We started with the fanciest of the three, the Adjaruli Khachapuri.

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Adjarul…what?

Adjaruli Khachapuri (translated as “Georgian Cheese Bread”) is a Georgian dish (specifically from the Adjara region), in which the dough is formed into an open boat shape and the hot pie is traditionally topped with a raw egg or butter before serving, In our version we were served with bacon 🙂

I’ll be honest here; I never had anything like it! That combination of Anchor Food’s very own Cheddar, Mozzarella and Cream Cheese to become this bubbly, gooey goodness…OMG IT IS SO SO SO GOOD! And to have that together with the soft bread, breadsticks and even fried calamari on the sides…YUM YUM YUM!

(oh, not to forget the tomato salsa on the side…nice contrast to the cheesy flavours)

If you wanna make me happy, then just offer me this. Hehe.  I sooo can’t wait to bring my BAE to try this when it’s available in Kuching!

 

Stay tune to Part 2. Coming this week. Hopefully!

 

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RAW (Kitchen) IS WAR (on Bad Health)!

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Branding is such a powerful thing. It is a marketing strategy that involves creating a differentiated name and image — often using a logo and/or tag line — in order to establish a presence in the consumer’s mind (Thanks Google!). Take Apple for example; for some people, they think of the fruit, but for many others, it is the American multinational technology company that pops out of their mind.

If someone were to mention to me the word “Raw” back in the late 90’s and early 2000s, this is commonly the first impression I had:

The fact I still thought of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) TV programme says a lot about the impact the brand had on me during my teenage years. Thankfully, my interests changed dramatically since 2001; I now enjoy exercising at the gym and I stopped watching WWE religiously.

Also, I hated the thought of “detox” and whatever that is related to “cleansing your body” back then; now I welcome them with open arms (and tummy). So when a local company called “The Raw Kitchen Malaysia” had an official opening at Vivacity Megamall, Kuching last week, naturally that replaced my perception on the word “Raw”!

THE ORIGINS OF RAW KITCHEN MALAYSIA

Established in December 2014 by a young and enthusiastic couple, they started the small, juicing company at Green Heights Mall to serve the neighbourhood with their cold pressed juice (using a hydraulic press to extract juice from fruit and vegetables. Do Google for the more technical aspect of cold pressing process). It is their belief and vision to enable the people of Kuching to change their lifestyle for the better, by incorporating juices into their diet. Not only do they make it easy to drink, but it’s tasty too, and affordable too (RM12 for 330ml).

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Spot Minnie Mouse.

I had their juices of course, and it is as advertised: it tastes great! Initially I was worried it would taste like a traditional home-made detox drink: nasty, bitter and foul tasting “poison”… but Raw Kitchen truly impressed me here with the mixture of ingredients used. And as an added bonus, Raw Kitchen doesn’t add dairy, added sugar, water and preservatives. Move aside Tropicana juice!

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No, this isn’t Tuak. But you could add that rice wine…

There’s a ton of variety of flavours from Raw Juicery: the mainstays among them being To the Beet, Orang Utan, Raw Very Veggie, Tropical Lust and Green On. Very creative names!

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Ladies, this is my little secret to my youthfulness 😉 

THE DOCTOR IN A BOTTLE: RAW KITCHEN’S DETOX PROGRAMME

What’s interesting to know is that Raw Kitchen doesn’t just make the juice and sell it to you; in line with their beliefs, they offer a Detox Programme to help you become, well, a healthier you.

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Look how healthy these ladies are! All smiles thanks to RAW Juices!

As you would figured it out by now, these juices could do wonders to your body. Ideally, you’ll want to recognise the following experience below before you begin:

  • Feeling tired, sluggish and lethargic?
  • Trouble concentrating?
  • Difficulty losing weight?
  • Digestive issues?
  • Skin problems and bad breath?

If you could relate to any of the questions above, then you’ll need the Raw Kitchen’s Cleansing /Detox Programme. Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose your Level: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced
  2. Choose your Length: 1-Day, 2-Day, 3-Day, 4-Day, 5-Day, 6-Day
  3. Choose your Start Date: Raw Kitchen will deliver the juices to you, every day of every week.

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Sarawak Bloggers, together with the founders of The Raw Kitchen Malaysia.

Historically, I had problems with my digestive system, so I am considering starting the programme after Chinese New Year. What better time to cleanse myself from of all that Bak Kwa (Dried Meat) and CNY cookies!

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The bottle is cuter…or me? *hehe* (Photo Credit: Eve Dutchez)

CONCLUSION

Kuching has certainly changed much over the years; we got a running event at least once a month, you see a lot more cyclists on the road now, and there are many gyms and aerobic centres to choose from. The fact that Kuching is the first to get the Under Armour brand outside of Klang Valley speaks volume about the Cat City’s obsession with health.

Health food cafes and restaurants with a menu for the health conscious are also blossoming here, so it’s just appropriate for The Raw Kitchen to come in and be part of the market. You can be certain I will have a dose of their juices;  you also can obtain their potions at Everise supermarket and Level Up Fitness (and more if I missed out on other locations).

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So if you recalled having slimmer body as your “New Year’s Resolution”, then it’s time to keep up with that resolution of yours and take up The Raw Kitchen’s Detox Programme already!

THE RAW KITCHEN MALAYSIA 

LG 004
VivaCity Megamall
Jalan Wan Alwi
93350 Kuching Sarawak

The Pan Tree
Green Heights Mall
Lorong Lapangan Terbang 2
93250 Kuching Sarawak

Facebook: www.facebook.com/therawkitchenmalaysia

Instagram: @rawkitchenmalaysia

Three Cool Things You Should Know About Batik Boutique Hotel

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

In the previous post, I was invited to a food tasting at Nagoya Restaurant, which was located at Batik Boutique Hotel. The owner, Jackie was generous enough to let the bloggers (including yours truly) to stay for a night at the hotel.

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The lobby area of Batik Boutique. No reception area needed; make yourself at home!

There are four types of room settings at Batik: City Facing Suites, Deluxe Suites, Courtyard Facing Suites – Twin and Courtyard Facing Suites – King. Now, to encourage you to visit their website (batikboutiquehotel.com), guess which room I ended up with?

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Kinky-minded individuals would like this room much. 

I had a good night of course, with my Queen sized bed being comfortable and NINE pillows all for myself. But it was three cool things from this small, chic hotel (only 15 rooms) that I go “No wonder this hotel is #6 in the Tripadvisor rankings B&Bs/Inns in Kuching

1) The local welcome meal, served by the very welcoming staff

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Tuak

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the staff, and I was given a shot of tuak and several slices of Batik cake by Mok (apologies for the wrong spelling!), who took care of reception and housekeeping. She’s fun to talk to, and that’s great; most frontline staff I know in the hospitality industry is professional but sometimes reserved in their conversation with the guests. So she gave me a good impression on the hotel. Oh, and I like that shot of Tuak. In fact, I should like all forms of alcohol served to me. But if you can’t drink alcohol for either religious or medical or by choice, don’t worry the do have the mocktails for you.

 

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Batik Cake

ut really, this welcoming moment is just scratching the surface of their hospitality service. Go read their reviews on TripAdvisor and count how many of them love their friendliness. Well done, Batik Boutique!

2) The satellite channels in the room

This was originally not cool, in the sense of the channel setup when I first turned it on; I thought I only had THREE channels to watch! Not only that, one channel could not receive the signal, and the other two was some interview show in China. No subtitles. Urgh!

But this satellite channel isn’t Astro. It’s the one where you could get channels at least twice or thrice the amount of Astro’s full package. I set to work on “unlocking” the channels, and I discovered I could actually watch 40 channels in my room. Normal hotels only offer like what, 12?

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What’s all these channels about?

I ended up watching NHK English, about a Japanese chef visiting the country of Bhutan to learn more about their culinary. I is the happy 🙂

 

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Japanese TV show. Cause I had Japanese dinner. And I feel all Japanese after that.

You can ask the staff to get the channels working for you of course. But I enjoyed the little reward of “Netflix and Chill” (almost!) from fixing up the channels.

3) The Tanamera all-natural amenities

I CANNOT STOP BRAGGING ABOUT THIS ONE! In all the years I stayed in hotels of various stars, no amenities of theirs have matched the level of awesomeness from this made-in-Malaysia product! The beautiful, natural scent fit for a spa treatment. I never thought my shower could be so…relaxing. You can purchase this at the hotel itself, so this makes a great gift for the ladies (and the metrosexual men!).

 

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Love it!

CONCLUSION

If you plan to visit Kuching and you’ll like a really nice room to compliment your adventure in Sarawak, Batik Boutique Hotel’s for you. It sounds like a cliché sales pitch, I know, but really, with an average rate of RM250 a room (check online for actual rates, and it depends on season), it’s really worth it. Better than some 5-star hotels here in fact!

 

Batik Boutique Hotel

38, Jalan Padungan,

93100, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Tel: +6082-422-845

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebatik

Kuching is now Under Armour

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

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If the Cat Status is freakishly alive to my imagination!

I’m not sure if you knew the brand years ago, but I first found out about Under Armour (UA) through an American celebrity. That celebrity was none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson:

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But it was when Tottenham Hotspurs football club announced a kit deal with UA that I became a curious customer. That was in 2011, and the only place I could order a UA gear was online.

 

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So through kitbag.com I got myself my first UA Compression T-Shirt. Since then, I’ve been wearing it for my 10KM runs / half marathons…although I was wearing it together with a Nike compression shorts as part of the #ootd. Trust me when I say the compression t-shirt helps me a lot in keeping cool, dry and light during my runs!

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Back in 2011.

So imagine my excitement when UA finally came to my hometown Kuching!

I attended the UA press conference on 15 December 2015, and I was pleased to meet the people responsible for bringing the performance apparel to Cat City.

Mr. Michael Binger, Chief Executive Officer, Triple Pte. Ltd. (the distributor for UA in South East Asia) said Kuching has a great outdoor sports culture and that the health and fitness market in Kuching is growing as fast as in big cities. He was spot on I’ll say; just look at the amount of gyms and running / cycling events we have here in the last 6 – 7 years! Mr. Binger also mention UA is going to make about USD 4 billion by this year, and their target by 2020 is USD 10 billion. Well with the way UA markets itself, I’m sure the target is achievable.

 

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Mr. Michael Binger, CEO, Triple Pte. Ltd.

Now, UA doesn’t have its own Brand House here unlike the ones in Kuala Lumpur; instead UA does it by opening up a Shop in Shop in LEA Sports Centre, Sarawak Plaza. Mr. Raymond Sim, Managing Director, LEA Group of Companies said it took the leading sports company in Sarawak more than a year to finalize the deal with UA. He followed up his comments with the UA brand to come to Miri, Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah soon.

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Mr. Raymond Sim, Managing Director, LEA Group of Companies

A signing ceremony was done on that day as well.

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Oh by the way, UA has also sponsored their attire to two local gyms in Kuching: Gym Box and Phoenix Gym.  Nice! I’m not from either one of the gyms though… (Hey Level Up Fitness! How come you’re not sponsored? I thought the trainers were wearing UA gear??)

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Mr. Stephen Onn represented Gym Box while Mr. Dan Ling was the boss of Phoenix Gym. For Stephen, it is an honour to be wearing the same gear as “The Rock”, while for Dan, he first wore the brand during his time in the military and that he’s enthusiastic that with UA’s presence in Kuching. He continued by saying the gyms are now more approachable for the general public.

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Meanwhile, here’s me and the Sarawak Bloggers team:

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Photo Credit: Precious Mad Photo

Here are a couple of photos of the UA shop in LEA Centre:

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And I got some cool goodie bags too 🙂

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So, obviously I am thrilled to have UA in Kuching. And if I can afford it, I’m sure to buy any of their Alter Ego series like their Avengers series or the Star Wars series.

Here’s the Cat Statue at the Store. Just to end this post. underarmourkuching-02.jpg

 

Welcome back, Clouded Pawn.

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

23 months has passed since I last logged into my blog.

When I read my last post, I could only chuckle. My 2013 self assumed he knew what was best for him. If only I could have the powers of time travel to tell him he was…misguided on a lot of things.

All I can say for now is, some time in Autumn 2015 I suddenly became…un-busy. And after much thought (and time), I have decided to come back to blogging.

But I had said that before, right? Will this interest to write again last as long as the glorious years of 2005 to 2011 on my Blogspot era? Or just another short-lived excitement like before? Do I just start anew, on a new blog name, from scratch, even a new persona?

To be honest, I am only writing this because it’s the new, final month of 2015. December always seem to trigger a resolution in me.

I am writing crap. That’s expected of me. This blog is empty, so I might as well write whatever I want.

But hey, I am back. I came out of retirement they say.

 

 

 

2013 in review.

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

A year of weddings, a year of farewells. New friends were made, some friends became strangers. Many days of laughter, just as many the opposite. A time of ambition, caught sidetracked by doubt. Behind the smiles, questions filled the voice within.

This was exactly the same paragraph I used in last year’s review. Yet it’s the best paragraph to describe this year for me. 

(play my song for 2013 – “Daft Punk – Get Lucky” before you read on)

The good:

  • Done 3 marathons this year, including The Spring 10KM run. Proud to finish my longest run to date.
  • Visited Australia after 7 years. Truly a walk down memory lane. 
  • Did my part and vote during the election. 
  • Actually celebrated Gawai at a longhouse, with a couple of friends from KL.
  • Became a witness to my close friend’s marriage proposal. 
  • Watched Metallica live in Singapore. A lifelong dream came true!! 
  • Finally got myself a new job after 5 years plus in BCCK.
  • Enjoyed great company with friends on my birthday week. 
  • Had the privilege to be a Heng Tai (brother) for a friend’s wedding in KL, the honor to toast for two friends’ weddings in Kuching, and even represented my brother in his wedding to, er, drink for him. Four weddings conservatively on a weekend from 29 November to 22 December 2013. 

The bad: 

  • I left a job that I loved because of severe office politics I got caught in.
  • I still struggled to enjoy my new job. I know I’m new, but I don’t feel like I’m a part of the team fairly often.  
  • I became more temperamental than before. I get more annoyed now when an individual doesn’t reply Whatsapp personal messages quickly, especially he/she is online for a fair bit of time. 
  • I haven’t stop smoking. 
  • I still get sick on an average once every 6 weeks.
  • I lost some control of my diet since I changed my job.
  • I am still in debt.
  • I am still luckless in romance.
  • And my brother has cancer. The family hasn’t been quite the same since it was discovered. Or maybe I just felt that way. 

The ugly:

  • For once since I came back from Kuching, I genuinely thought I would be in a relationship with a woman I met earlier this year. Instead, I had to see her flirting with another man. Am I not good enough for you? 
  • More unrequited love followed after that.
  • All seven deadly sins were committed.
  • The experts of fortune reading has warned me of a poor year ahead. I usually ignore this zodiac stuff, but the negative readings I’ve seen so far has been consistent. 
  • That lonely feeling.

I am in a quarter life crisis. 

Thanks, 2013. Some parts were great, but it’s a year I want to forget. 

Hie. We meet again.

Monday, July 1st, 2013

It’s been a while isn’t it? I think it was almost year since I stopped blogging actively.

The dashboard on WordPress is different. It feels strange, yet familiar. How do I go about from here?

I believe I created this blog for the purpose of updating it on daily via my mobile phone. That took the backseat as I went on with the more important tasks in my life. The career, the workouts, an even the weekend alcohol drinking took out the chunk of my precious time.  OK, insert laziness in there too.

Looking back at the six months since I last posted, things hasn’t really changed. The bad and the ugly remained. Thankfully the good is still around. Highlights has to be a nostalgia trip back to Brisbane and Melbourne, which I felt like Snake revisiting Shadow Moses in Metal Gear Solid 4. Successfully completed a 10KM run too. Ah, some ego boosting moments.

2nd half 2013. Perhaps I could make some time to blog again. There’s certainly a fair bit I want to write about here.

2012 in review.

Monday, December 31st, 2012

A year of weddings, a year of farewells. New friends were made, some friends became strangers. Many days of laughter, just as many the opposite. A time of ambition, caught sidetracked by doubt. Behind the smiles, questions filled the voice within.

(plays the theme song for 2012: PSY – Oppa Gangnam Style)

The good:

  • A step up in the career-ladder. 
  • Survived 3 hours of Level Up Fitness’ “Class Olympics Marathon”, earning a medal in the process. I never thought I’ll be this fit at all!
  • Fallen in love with the wonderful taste of Singapore’s Chili Crabs at No Signage Restaurant.
  • The maiden “bromance” visit to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, with Cyril, Fahriee and Rodz.
  • Discovered an interest in dancing, via Level Up Fitness’ “Oppa Gangnam Style” Flash Mob
  • Being the best man to one of my closest friend’s wedding.

The bad:

  • Stress levels doubled as a result of increased workload. I definitely spent a little too much time in the office. 
  • Office politics intensified as a result of the promotion.
  • Not in control of my temper.
  • Picked up smoking once again.
  • Continue to fall sick consistently despite the addiction to exercise and more recently a change to a healthier diet.
  • Still in debt and not being able to obtain some form of side income for the year.

The ugly:

  • Her marriage to another man. And in turn, the end of a friendship. 
  • Being rejected/”Friendzoned”.
  • Having to reject the advances of a couple of the opposite genders.
  • The constant feeling of loneliness despite the wonderful friends around me.

 

Thank you 2012. The world didn’t end (yet again). But part of me has died. So I’m taking a soul-searching train in 2013. Not like I can say no to the roller-coaster ride right, life?

Well, hello you.

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

It’s been so long since I’ve updated this blog…so long that I didn’t know WordPress changed its layout.

I’m sorry to have left you alone. I’ll do my best to revive this blog.

I know, I said something like that before!

Video Game High School (VGHS) – Ep. 4

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

To be honest, I didn’t quite enjoy this episode much…