Why Malaysians Have Zits On Their Faces ūüėú@Mamak, Chatswood

Date of Visit: August 21 2014

When one¬†made the decision to embark on a fitness competition – yeah, I engaged the N√ļmero Uno Fitness Competition Coach in Australia for a 6-weeks foundation prep while I’m back in Sydney for a bikini fitness competition sometime in March or May next year (haven’t decided on the competition yet) – ethnic food DOES NOT sound appetising at all! ūüėį

But since my friend ‘…really, REALLY want nasi lemak (sic)‘ (to quote her) and I’ve not met her for a long time, I gave in… ¬†We met at Mamak Malaysian Cuisine in Chatswood, a suburb in North Sydney.

On the menu… Carbs, carbs and more carbs with loads of sugar to edge off the hot spicy chili…

I couldn’t¬†find anything lesser in carbs (or sugar) ¬†content, so I settled for a half dozen beef satays.

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Beef Satay (A$9 for half-dozen or A$16 for a dozen).

What can I say?? ¬†The satays at Mamak were better than Malaysia Airlines’ – ¬†although a bit tougher! I didn’t try the peanut sauce because I know it is¬†very sweet. I gave to my friend who¬†polished it off – along with the 4 extra serves of sambal with her nasi lemakl! ¬†I can only look on – saying nothing – but totally astonished! Here is a skinny woman who is ALWAYS complaining that she is fat, yet wolfing down calorifically-laden junks – ¬†at the same time explaining that she eats a lot (I can see that). ¬†Still,¬†complaining that she is fat; ¬†in-between mouthfuls, when she is skinny, is totally not on! ¬†ūüė§ ūüė§ ūüė§

Elephant Parade, Pacific Mall, Admiralty

After the 1,600 Pandas departed, the Elephants stampeded¬†into Hong Kong. ¬† Elephant Parade is the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues created by artists and celebrities. ¬†After the exhibition, the statues will be auctioned. ¬†The idea is to use the power of art to¬†bring forth a meanful message of animal conservation and protection. ¬†Individuals can also buy miniature replicas of the elephants whereby 20% of the net profit are donated to The Asian Elephant Foundation.

Since it was Amber Rainstorm today, I was at Pacific Place Mall today to watch a movie.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the elephants dotted around the mall and had a fun time taking pictures.

Hah! ¬†A map of HK, no doubt dedicated to Hiker Dude ūüėú

Pearl of the Orient by Diana Francis

Pearl of the Orient by Diana Francis

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‘Maclehose Trail’, the gruesome 100km Oxfam Trail Walk where some teams managed to finish in 13 hours!

Money makes the world go round, and so the auspicious lucky coin Elephants to reign in good fortune for the Mall

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Lucky Coins by Santi Takaew

And with the mooncake season or mid-autumn festival coming up, an Elephant Mooncake sounds like a good festive creation

Mooncake by Kitipong Tamnonsri

Mooncake by Kitipong Tamnonsri

A statue designed by my favourite designer.

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DVF, Love is Life by Diane von Furstenberg

Hong Kong is a tourist destinations and of course a couple of Elephants decorated with local flavours are a must!  Themes included food and tourist landmarks.

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Yum-Ephant by Diana Francis

We Love Hong Kong by Carsac Limited

We Love Hong Kong by Carsac Limited

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Commandments of God by Prajjwal Choudhury

One of the crowd’s favourite as judged by the number of people taking pictures. ¬†The cutest¬†of ‘em all, I reckon! ¬†This is by celebrated local designer Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

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The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The exhibition started on August 1 and will continue to September 9 2014.  Do pay the Elephant Parade a visit Рother locations includes CityPlaza in Taikoo Shing and CityGate in Tung Chung.

Tree of Life exclusively designed for Pacific Place by Diana Francis

Tree of Life exclusively designed for Pacific Place by Diana Francis

Barking Up The Wrong Tree?? @Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls, Hong Kong

So, I am back in Hong Kong from my hols. ¬†The first thing I did was going on a hike with Hiker Dude – against the advise of my girl friends. ¬†“Why would you want to go hiking with someone who’s giving you confusing signals?”. ¬†¬†Anyway, I followed my heart, took¬†the advise of my guy friends who (3 out of 3) all encouraged me to give the relationship a chance – so¬†I went. ¬†My BFF, a¬†guy, even¬†gave me the comparison of ‘instant noodles and a steak’. ¬†Huh? ¬†I guess the premise is that: ¬†Steak tastes better but takes¬†longer time to cook – a weird analogy, but hey, Chinese people loves to eat and given the opportunity will eulogise about food anytime, hands-down!

On my personal front,¬†if a guy initiate chats with you first thing in the morning, that means he is interested, right? Plus, me being me, I’ve grilled him… I have a kick-ass, Devil-may-care-attitude and whatever conflicting signals he’s giving me, it only means he’s confused… or whatever… Father Time will tell...or whatever… LOL ¬†;-)

Here are the summary pictures of our hike today which I took with my iPhone 5s.  Heard that iPhone 6 is on the way Рso, yippee Рbetter photos to come! *High Fives Guys and Gals*

For the unfit, the hike is rather tiring since it’s mostly ascent. ¬†I LOVE ascent, walking Up and Up which¬†¬†really work your booties. ¬†Best to walk upright, lift knees high and stomp up, this puts less pressure on knees but really works the glutes.

All in all, there are 3 falls in Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls…

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Bottom Fall

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Middle Fall

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Scatter Fall

Because we are fit people, we took a longer detour to Kadoorie Farm – to see the fat pigs…

Some wild flowers on route.

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White Zephra Lilies

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No idea what these flowers are

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Views… there were other more spectacular views but I couldn’t be bothered with taking my iPhone out from my backpack… so next time, Peeps! :-)

The fat pigs…there are 6 altogether. A breed called ‘Da Hua Bai’, formally appointed the Kadoorie Education Ambassadors on August 1 2013 to encourage ¬†visitors to ‘eat less meat’. ¬† (Er… really? ‘Fraid, I can’t do that, I need protein for bodybuilding! :-()

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A Fat Pig Called ‘Andrew’

Lunch at Kadoorie Farm Cafe.

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Picturesque, outdoor and relaxing garden setting

My healthy organic lunch

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Garden Salad + Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk HK$52

A hiking buddy’s lunch, I ‘stole’ the snaps while she went to the Ladies to change…

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Vegetarian Omelette HK$32

Summer Holidays 2014: South Italy, Malta and Cyprus

Hello Everyone!

I haven’t been blogging for ages but will resume as soon as I can after I finish my summer holidays. A lot has been happening around me and I feel that I need to get away to rejuvenate myself. Here are some pics of the first day of my trip to Capri Island (the anticipated Blue Grotto excursion was cancelled due to bad weather) and the long, winding beauty of the Amalfi Coast.

Speak soon! Ciao! ūüėėūüėėūüėė

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Drinkies @Vinexpo 2014 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Date of Visit:  May 28 2014

One simply does not pass on a freebie – especially when it is a free trade pass to Asia-Pacific Vinexpo, no?!

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Vinexpo Asia-Pacific

Boy! Am I getting pissed today!! ūüėú

Spanning the entire 2 floors of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Level 1 houses all the New World Wines, whereas Level 3 is reserved exclusively for the French (and the odd Chinese winery or two, e.g. Dynasty, hoping to rub some Old World prestige into their spanking new establishments)

Since Vinexpo is the world’s premier wine and spirits festival, one should expect an impressive list of international exhibitors from over 30 countries.  The line-up of wines are mind-bogglingly overwhelming.  So one must definitely do a bit of homework Рresearch on the vineries, top producers, up-and-coming wines, etc-before attending!

Here are some of the wines sampled (pictures courtesy of Monsieur Wine Nut Рmy wine tasting buddy).

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Premium French…

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So much wine to sample…

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More wines…

Tasting delicious wines can get a tad¬†boring and tedious,¬†so I started looking for interesting labels. ¬†Now, do tell, how many of you buy wines on the account of the quirkiness of the labels? ¬†Be it the name or graphics? ¬†I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of that ALL the time! ūüėú

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A regal looking French Bulldog – my future pet! ūüėĄ

What about Hello Kitty sparkling wines?  I guess it is never too early to start training your kids to start drinking, right?

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Starter Wines for kiddies

‘No Sex For Butterfly’¬†is a new line from¬†Chateau de Valcombe, only available in some¬†Scandinavian countries and Belgium at the moment. ¬†A quirky¬†label with¬†an interesting story in that vines are sprayed with electrostatic powder containing female pheromones. Male pests cannot find females because of the scent on their own bodies, and females reject them as mates because they think they are female, too. In this way, the insects are controlled without use of pesticides, thus stopping the male pests ¬†from¬†breeding and spoiling grape crops (read here).

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I¬†like the crisp No Sex For Butterfly’s Chardonnay, but it was the Cabernet Sauvignon that blew me away. ¬†It was unusual as¬†both the nose and palate has hints of petroleum.

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Quaffable Grenache

I was also introduced to a friend of a friend who is the 3rd generation¬†of this estate. ¬†ūüėö ¬†Unfortunately, I¬†cannot appreciate the wines fully given the numbness from all the tastings¬†but I do like the labels designed by¬†an ex-Hermes designer – Pierrre Le Tan.

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20140528-190257-68577802.jpgDoes fast cars and wines mix?  Apparently not, but because the Chinese had over bought the Bordeaux 4 years back Рbidding up the prices in the process Рthey are currently  sitting on top of oversupply to the detriment of the Bordeaux producers.  So, what to do to?  Hence, the marketing gurus came up with the gimmick of beauties and fast cars to make Bordeaux sexy and desirable again!

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I missed out on the conferences, tastings, and master classes hosted by the industry experts, so next year, remind me to register early for the classes!!

My Pictorial Arvo @Art Basel Hong Kong 2014

Date of Visit:  May 14 2014

This is the 2nd Hong Kong edition of Art Basel, the world’s premier show of Modern¬†and Contemporary Art. ¬†I was lucky that I got a free ticket.

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Otherwise, I would¬†have¬†to fork out HK$300 for a day pass like what my friend did…

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Is this Art??  I can do this too!  In fact, there were several mono-coloured canvasses in the exhibition.  Perhaps done by big names.  And we all know, any doodles by big names conjures a hefty price tag (belt our your number Jessie J!)

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This is kooky! So cool and psychedelic!  Reminds me of Austin Powers! Yeah, Baby!

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The bizarre.  A life-sized mannequin of a hairy young girl cradling deformed baby??

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Totally outrageous!  A dog encased inside glass bubbles??  SPCA where art thou?!

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Waste not, want not... the next time you stop by for a Chinese, remember to bring home the scallop shells.

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The comical Рthe singing Banana Trio!  Inspiration from Casper The Friendly Ghost?

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A wake-up call, don’t eat too much

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But don’t starve yourself to the bones either!

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A bit of reality call Рthe post 80s generation?  Demonstrations!  Protests!

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A bit of logic!  My favourite 3 Ms: Chocolates, Junk and Post-It Notes!

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Recyclable art…

Buddha sitting on a pile of used clothing.

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Shredded papers as sculptural art?

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What about a mangled smashed-up car?

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Something contemporarily religious…

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Art Basel is basically an art expo with over 245 leading galleries from 39 countries.  Heck!  I even met a sister of a friend who runs a gallery in Kuala Lumpur!!

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I spent ¬†over 2 hours at the expo…and was dead tired…

Check out this man face-planted on the floor! Bet he WAS really tired! Zzzz…

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Any qualms?  Talk to me, better still, email me!

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Building a HK$100 Rump @ Tsui Wah, Hong Kong

Date of Visit:  Numerous

To build a butt like this, you need protein and LOTS of it.

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Lifted this kickass arse from the internet.

If you are sick of drinking protein powders and looking for some cheap protein cuts¬†to chew, ¬†I suggest Tsui Wah. ¬†The ones I frequent are in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui,¬†there¬†are¬†around 30¬†branches in Hong Kong-wide (and fast expanding into Macau and China too – it’s on the HK stock exchange). ¬†It gets pretty crowded during meal times, so you have to know how to time your visit!

My HK$1oo Sizzling Steak Set Meal was quick and simple Рarrived within 10 minutes!  It is also a proper 3-course meal Рsoup, main (sizzling steak) and coffee or tea!

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Chinese-styled Diner

My¬†bun… most delish and chewy…and a choice of sweet corn or vegetable soup. ¬†(I like¬†vegetable soup).

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Bun with butter and Vegetable Soup

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All’s calm before Steak before drizzled with Peppercorn Sauce

A little video clip… and I get SO excited with anything that sizzles on a hot plate!

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Bubbling steak

Sometimes, I choose to be naughty and go for a Hotdog!

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Hotdog

OR a Scrambled Egg Corn Beef Sub! (not as good as the Hotdog¬†ūüėě )

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Scrambled Egg Corn Beef Sub

Maybe a  Chinese Pork Burger?  (Gosh!  This is SO filling!)

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Chinese Pork Burger

The ABSOLUTE MUST is the Champagne Milk Tea

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Champagne Milk Tea