Category: Reviews

The SONOS Playbar Review (for the laymen)

“All the Music on Earth, in Every Room, Wirelessly.”

That’s all the introduction you need to know about the makers of the world’s most sophisticated wireless speakers.

Picture this scenario.

You have a huge stack of music sitting somewhere – it could you on your PC, your network connected hard disk, your phone or even somewhere in the cloud on the Internet.

Our homes are silent. Yes, we can all do with some music in our lives.

So, it’s the weekend and you wanna enjoy this treasure trove of music throughout the different rooms in your house – could be your living room, bedroom, your bathroom or even the kitchen.

Now. You got several choices.

Do you… buy some Bluetooth speakers? Which is nice, but it means you can’t stray more than 10m away from them?

Do you… spend lots and lots of money to place a speaker in every room and wire them up to a central console? Meaning nobody can change up the music unless they are near that console?

Or do you simply play the music from the tiny holes you called “speakers” of smartphone? And bear with the tinny hollow sound quality?

The idea behind SONOS is simple.

You can place any amount of SONOS speakers throughout your house, all wirelessly linked to your central console.

You can have can set these speakers to play different songs in every room, or play the same song throughout.

Best of all, you don’t need to me near the central console to do any DJ-ing. Everything can music selection to volume can be controlled from your Android, iPhone or iPad.

No wires.

Pretty cool, huh?

I have heard of SONOS before. But it wasn’t until I tried the SONOS Playbar that I truly realised what I was missing out on.

(Disclosure time: My SONOS Playbar is provided by Tat Chuan Acoustic, the exclusive distributor of Klipsch and SONOS products in MY & SG.)

Like other sound bars on the market, the SONOS Playbar is designed to hook up to your TV to take over the job of your typically pathetic-sounding TV speakers.

UNLIKE other sound bars though, the SONOS Playbar can stream music from your computer/network harddisk/Internet at the touch of a button. Obviously this works better if you already have other SONOS speakers located throughout your house.

Appearance-wise, the SONOS Playbar is like the speaker version of Wong LeeHom – it’s slim, it’s handsome and it’s also very down-to-earth.

Minimal buttons on the outside gives it a nice Apple-type feel.

It is sophisticated without being complicated. With a built just nice enough to slide underneath your TV, the Playbar certain looks good in any living room setting.

Hidden beneath it’s minimalist looking exterior is a plethora of high-tech goodies: nine speakers, various sensors to optimize tweaking of the EQ, and the wireless ability to hook up with other SONOS speakers to create a 5.1 surround sound system – if required.

Enough about the looks. How does the Playbar sound?

In two words: bloody amazing.

The audio experience is rich and immersive. This is astounding, because the Playbar is so much more compact than your traditional set-up, yet it is capable of delivering  the illusion of surround sound.

The bass can be a little weak, so pairing it with a subwoofer would obviously help. But make no mistake about it – on it’s own, it is sweet as it is!

I haven’t even begun to rave how easy it was to set up the SONOS Playbar.

Because there are no wires, the set up suddenly becomes so simple. Quick Start literally means quick start – download the app, launch the software, press a button, and everything’s configured.

From unboxing to music… less than 15 minutes!

The only negative I can think of with the SONOS Playbar is perhaps the price. A S$1,299 price tag puts it firmly in
the premium category. And although it is nice on its own, the SONOS system truly shines when there’s at least a couple of SONOS speaker products scattered throughout your house.

For a more lengthy, geeky review of the SONOS Playbar, you can read reviews from sites like Engadget, Mr Brown or Hardwarezone.

To get your hands on these awesome speakers, look out for them in your local Harvery Normans or Machines. If all else fails, you can always buy them online from – they would even deliver to Malaysia!

SONOS – really they should have named it So Nice!

Klipsch Image X7i and S4i Rugged Earphones Review (For The Average Folks)

How the heck do I end up reviewing earphones?

As it turns out, fate has its own funny way figuring into my life.

First things first – let’s put it all out there. I am probably not the best qualified person to review audio products.

I am not an audiophile. I am not a musician. The only thing I am is an average person who believes that music plays a very, very big part of my life.

There are two things that I do more than the average person on the streets.

First, I travel a lot.

Friends tell me that I treat the Airbus like a bus. When you’re stuck in a confined space for at least 2 hours each way, pretty much the only entertainment option you’re stuck with is your iPhone and the music that comes out through it.

Secondly, I do a lot of fitness stuff.

Weights, cardio, running, cycling, marathons. When you’re pounding the pavement every second day, one hour at a time, the quality of music being pumped into your ears plays a very important role in determining whether you’re gonna hit that personal best or not.

So with my qualifications out of the way, let’s get onto how I ended up with this unit.

Many, many years ago, when I got my first iPod, I was dissatisfied with the standard earphones that came with the music player. I bought my first high-end earphones – the SHURE E3C – that serves me pretty well for several years, but costs me something pretty close to the RM1,000 mark.

The SHURE came to its death when I decapitated it one day after I accidentally kiap it between my doors. Saddened at my loss, I went to my trusted earphone supplier Jaben, who introduced me to their hottest seller at the time – the Klipsch Image S4.

Despite costing only RM359, I was amazed that the Klipsch S4 performs on par with many high-end pairs costing many times as much.

And so begun my love story with all things Klipsch. Instantly, I was converted into a happy customer, taking them around the world with me, including the entire 42km course of my Seoul International Marathon last year.

The only thing that sucked about the Klipsch Image S4 was its flimsy little cable that seem to tangle way too easily.

A little over a year after I bought them, my music starts to break when those cables finally gave up on me. Thankfully, the Klipsch S4 came with an exceptional TWO YEAR warranty.

I took them back to Jaben in Singapore, who then re-directed me to Klipsch’s regional distributor Tat Chuan Acoustics at The Adelphi building. And that was when I was introduced to their ridiculously superb warranty policy.

Rather than repairing my existing earphones as most would assume, Tat Chuan offered to replace my Klipsch earphones with a completely brand new boxed unit!

I took the opportunity to upgrade to a Klipsch Reference S4i, which I still love and use until today. But really, Tat Chuan’s replacement policy was THAT simple! No questions asked, and I was in and out literally in mere minutes.

Fast forward to last week.

Not knowing that I am already an existing Klipsch customer, Tat Chuan e-mailed me out of the blue to ask if I would like to review their newly released earphones.

At this point, even if they were to ask me to dance around naked with Klipsch earphones wrapped around my body, I would gladly do so.

Much to the relief of humanity at large, their request was much milder than that.

I was given review units of their first ceramic earphones – the Klipsch Image X7i, as well as the new Rugged version of their best-selling Klipsch Image S4i for a test drive.

The Klipsch Image S4i Rugged looks as if it was built exactly for my kinda lifestyle.

With a weather-proof design and rubberised coating from the gold-plated plug all the way to the those oval eartips, this set of earphones look as if they’re ready for a boxing match.

The reinforced cables is a welcome improvement over the original. Apart from being more durable, they are also less likely to tangle up.

Although not necessary, the S4i Rugged comes with an oversized 3-button inline remote control for easy control of the iPhone or iPod during exercise. Some may find this a convenience, although I’m sure there will be others who find it a weighty annoyance.

The tiny little hole behind is the multi-directional microphone – useful for answering phone calls from your mom asking if you’re coming home for dinner while you’re halfway gasping for air.

Though not made for the swimming pool, the S4i Rugged is touted to withstand extreme outdoor activities. Sweaty ear canals popping those ear buds out during exercise should be the least of your concerns.

In any case, the S4i Rugged comes bundled with 4 different sized buds to suit all kinds of ears from humans and Yoda.

As usual, noise-isolation is excellent. Not a single baby cry was heard on my flight from Singapore to Kuching.

Elsewhere, the original Klipsch Image S4’s aluminium tin can carrying case is now replaced with a nylon zipper case.

I would have preferred it came with a carabineer hook, but that’s of tiny concern. At least the earphones come now with a choice of red, yellow, orange or blue instead of just black or white.

Sound quality-wise, there are no surprises. The S4i Rugged sounds exactly the same as the original S4. They are after all, made using the same internal organs.

For users of el-cheapo earphones, the sound quality is gonna be immediately noticeable when you switch to using a Klipsch S4i. The extra ruggedness is just a bonus for the active ones among us.

Though some may find the sound on the low-end a bit too emphasized, runners would definitely appreciate the S4i’s punchy bass response when matching their running pace to the music’s bpm.

At the premium end of the spectrum, is the Klipsch Image X7i – the company’s first ceramic earphones.

Price-wise, the X7i are cost nearly twice as much as the S4i Rugged and are designed to compete directly against SHURE and Beats by Dr Dre’s premium end of the price spectrum.

Honestly speaking, when I tried out the X7i at the Tat Chuan showroom, I was a tad unimpressed. Playing from my iPhone, Coldplay sounded a little "broken"  and the ear buds kept falling out of my ear canals annoyingly.

I thought they couldn’t justify charging that much for what they say is a premium set of earphones, but I took the review unit back home for a spin anyway.

If anything, the X7i certainly possess that air of sophistication. When knocked against each other, the ceramic cans produce a satisfying "click". Laser-etched logo its sleek surface completes its sexy look.

The 3-button in-line remote feels a little lighter here. Flat cables reminded me somewhat of Dr Dre earphones, but otherwise proves to be sufficiently durable and tangle-free.

The box came with a soft-carrying case, clip, airplane adapter and FIVE differently sized ear tips.

That’s convenient. I simply swapped out the default ear tips on the X7i with a pair of double-flanged ones that fit me, press play on Sebastian Ingrosso’s Lose My Mind and WHOA MOMMA!

It was like being transported from my desk chair to a live concert. Without the screaming fans. And the jostling. And the sweat. And the body odour.

Every deep bass, every crisp treble was reproduced perfectly. The music sounded unbelievably life-like and AMAZING.

How did something that sounded so bad in the showroom turned out so mindblowingly awesome on my computer?

My guess is that the X7i is so good at picking up tiny musical details that if the music source I played was crap, that crap became multiplied many folds through the X7i. That was exactly the case with the MP3s on my iPhone.

When playing lossless music on my computer and listening through the Klipsch X7i, the music was so real I literally had goosebumps on my skin.

Available now, the Klipsch Image S4i Rugged and X7i costs RM469 and RM829 respectively!

ADV: What Is Your Dream Home?

If you have a choice, where would you choose to live?

For me, 3 things define my ideals of a dream home.

First, location is everything. My home should be close to where I live, work and play. No point living in a nice place if you gotta spend 1.5 hours commuting to work each day

Second, it should be easy to maintain. In practice, this means living in a condominium. Unless I am a Datuk who can afford 5 gardeners and 2 maids to clean up around my bungalow, I reckon it is generally more practical to have a shared pool of staff to help take care of common facilities like gardens, corridors and concierge.

Third, it should conform to my lifestyle and standards. The design and decor of the place should be reflective to who I am as a person. A lot of people’s houses are over-populated with their father’s collection of Chinese traditional arts and calligraphy. Personally, I’m more of a fan of dwellings that incorporate contemporary motifs and eco technology into their design.

One of the most impressive condominiums in Klang Valley right now is KEN Bangsar, located at the very top of Bangsar Hill. This residential highrise is developed by KEN Holdings, the award-winning developer of such other properties as KEN Damansara 1, KEN Damansara 2, KEN Damansara 3 and

Oh wait, not the last one.

Here are a few reasons why KEN Bangsar will blow your socks off:

It is the highest residential unit within the Klang Valley, the hilltop location of KEN Bangsar gave it commanding view of the surroundings yet still within close proximity to Bangsar Shopping Centre and Sprint and Damansara highways.

The 15-storey freehold luxury residential highrise consists of 76 apartment units and 4 triple-storey penthouses. Each comes with a built-up area from 2,000 to 2,600sq ft, with the price between RM900 to a cool RM1,300 per square feet!

While the price tag may seem expensive compared to other properties within the vicinity, the difference is in the details.

Personally, I have had bad experiences buying so-called "luxury properties" from developers, only to learn that their so-called definition of "luxury" meant cheap furniture, fittings and gym equipment imported from China.

With KEN Bangsar, the developer – under the guidance of their energetic Executive Director Sam Tan, have taken great pains to ensure "luxury" meant not just standard luxury, but OVER-THE-TOP LUXURY.

For example, the entrance to the building is through a double volume lounge for a sense of space, the fitness equipment are of commercial high-end gym quality and the sanitary wares are top-notch Dornbracht fittings from Germany, some costing over RM8,000 a piece!

Then there’s those gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows with low-E bulletproof laminated glass to reduce heat and exquisite marble flooring laid throughout each residential unit.

It is no surprise then that in 2009, KEN Bangsar won Singapore’s Buiding & Construction Authority’s Green Mark Gold Plus Award. In 2011, they further cemented (pardon the pun) their position in the Malaysian real estate when they won the prestigious FIABCI-Malaysia Property Award – Sustainable Development Category.

Those awards are truly well-deserved, because what made KEN Bangsar stood out from the rest is how they took the lead and incorporated so many eco-friendly designs into the building.

Building wastages are recycled and reused as decoration. Energy-efficient motion-sensing lights adorn the car park and staircases. Finally, there’s a rainwater harvesting tank irrigating the landscape throughout the grounds.

By far, the most innovative feature of KEN Bangsar is how Executive Director Sam Tan designed the double volume lobby to be light and airy without the need for air-conditioning.

Sam created a system that harvests cool condensates from the management office’s air conditioner then routed it to an evaporative 2-storey high waterfall inside the lobby to cool it. Meanwhile, the hot air from the air-conditioning compressors is also harvested to provide hot water for the common toilets.

Heck, they even have a fancy name for it called "CHEEL", something KEN Bangsar are innovative enough to come up with. But can’t deny it’s very smart lah.

Even with such high prices, the units in KEN Bangsar are already 85% sold.

So unless you have deep pockets to snap up the remaining units, you may wanna bug Sam Tan on his Twitter to see if he can work out a
good deal with you.

A good alternative is to look into KEN Rimba’s new township in Shah Alam called LEGIAN as well as their soon-to-be-launched project called JIMBARAN.

Coincidentally, these will be Malaysia’s first ever Green townships. Information available at or

Luxurious, yet high-tech and sophisticated – now that’s a definition of a dream house.

ADV: The Best Name For A Car

It’s not Benz. It’s not Porsche. It’s not Lamborghini.

The best name for a car is Kia – the name of a Korean car manufacturer.

Why leh?

Because in Hokkien, Kia means "GO!"

When you think about it, that’s the most basic thing a car should do isn’t it?

Stick your key in, start the engine, and just… run. We don’t want any engine choking  or power window sticking. When we buy a car, we just want it to take us to A to B whenever we want.

In other words, as my mother so eloquently point out, "chia eh kia to ho liaw lah, mai aneh macam-macam" (car can run good enough already, don’t need so fancy).

That must be the philosophy the Koreans practise when they built their first cars back in the 1970s.

So much so that for the longest time, Korean cars almost all look the same.

Every car is just a copy-and-paste version of another. If you don’t see the logo, you also cannot tell the difference between a Kia to a Daewoo or a Hyundai.

Sure, the cars can Kia (go), but their designs are so neutral that it made many buyers Kia (scared).

Finally, someone in Kia (the manufacturer) had a long hard look at themselves in the Kia (the mirror), and hired one of the leading car designers – Peter Schreyer – as Chief Design Officer.

With an impressive resume that included a stint at Audi designing the iconic Audi TT, Peter Schreyer completely overhauled Kia car designs to make them immediately stand out and recognizable.

The result is quite remarkable.

For example, he transformed the 2005 version Kia Optima from Kia (scared)…

kenny optima

… to KIAAAAA!!!! Let’s go!

That’s like a complete 180 degree transformation!

If the hype in those car websites are true, it appears as if the update to the Kia Optima K5 is not just limited to cosmetics. Paul Tan reported that this version of Optima K5 will come with xenon headlamps, leather interior, panoramic sunroof and those slick-looking alloy wheels you’re looking at right now as standard.

Not bad for Korean cars, eh? And no reason to be ‘kia’ (scared) that it’ll just look like any other Korean cars on the road.

Sadly, I cannot find any price details yet.

If the pricing of Korean cars in general is anything to go by – it should be sweeter than the Hondas and Toyotas any day.

ADV: Kilkenny In A Bottle

Caught up with Laineylashes for lunch after being absent in KL for a very long time.

We went to Frontera in Jaya One – my favourite place for authentic Tex-Mex cuisine and home of the yummiest buffalo wings in the whole of Malaysia.

If you remember, Frontera is also the Battleground of Manhood between myself, KY and Deepak, when we challenged each other to swallow the hottest chilli on Earth – the habanero.

It was an experience none of us would ever wanna re-live again.

This time round, I went for something much less torturous.

Mesquite grilled tender rib-eye steak. RM42.95

Cooked medium-rare – just the way I like it.

Mesquite is a type of wood found in Mexico and parts of Texas. When used for barbeque, the smoke from the wood gives a distinctive smoky flavour to the meat.

That brown sauce right there? Heaven in a bowl.

Chili Con Queso. RM22.95

Texas style cheese served with freshly made tortilla chips. Great for sharing. Laineylashes ordered it with spicy beef for added zing.


Habanero Hot Wings. RM17.95

This one is my favourite, because it is the best hot wings in the whole of Malaysia. Beats Wong Ah Wah chicken wings at Jalan Alor.

There’s a ‘Hot’ version and an ‘Inferno’ version for those who can handle the heat. I wasn’t in the mood for pooping fire out my ass the next morning, so I ordered it ‘Regular’.

There used to be a ‘Killer’ version. If you eat it, you will look like this.

In the end, the owner had to take it off the menu because those "Killer" hot wings was so freaking hot, people keep puking in their basin.

We stuck to the regular stuff, and we polished up the plates with our tongues.

Of course, with such hearty good meal, it is criminal not wash them hot food down with ice cold beer afterwards.

Frontera had an unusual selection of alcohol for a Tex-Mex restaurant. Apart from the usual tequilas and margaritas, placed on our table is this ad.

Irish cream ale in a Tex-Mex grill? Why not. These go for RM17.95 a pop.

I am used to Kilkenny beer being served on tap. Lately the bottled version has started to quietly creep into the market – both in food courts and in atas restaurants.

Frontera may not have Kilkenny on tap, but they do a pretty good job serving them in ice cold bottles. Chilled beer is brilliant for cooling those Habanero hot wings down.

There is a slight difference between Kilkenny from the tap and from the bottle.

Kilkenny in bottles do not have a smooth creamy white head like the draught, but that matters little because taste-wise, it’s the same ol’. After all, the ingredients and brewing methods are the same ones as the ones on tap.

It doesn’t matter how you have your Kilkenny.

Kilkenny in a tap or Kilkenny in a bottle, is STILL Kilkenny.

One thing for sure…

Kenny Sia hiding behind a beer glass… is definitely NOT Kilkenny.

ADV: Nikon Projector Camera

Walk into any camera shop, see hundreds of digital cameras on display.

It’s hard to get excited about new cameras these days. After getting lost in all the technical mumbo jumbo (14.8 Megapixels, F/3.9-5.8 and 6400 ISO, understand?), you realise all the big and small cameras out there pretty much perform one function only, – taking photos.

That’s boring.

But once in a while, some genius comes up with a gadget that blows your mind away.

In comes the Nikon Coolpix S1100pj with one secret weapon…

A mini projector, built right into the body of the camera, allowing you to instantly show off whatever photos or videos you took on any flat surface.

Suddenly that changes many things.

For example, no longer can you take a photo of the girl you like, then stand really really really close to her under the guise of showing her the photo on your camera’s tiny LCD screen.

Don’t pretend. EVERY guys use that technique to get fresh with girls one.

The camera still comes with an LCD screen, but the cool thing is that it ain’t just your grandmother’s normal LCD screen. It’s a touch screen, which means you can flip through photos by swiping your finger through them.

You can even use the included stylus to draw right on top of the photos if you want.

This feature is extremely useful for drawing devil’s horn and moustaches on your friend’s face.

Or writing your phone number, then project it across the room to the girl you like.

For the more serious ones among us, the camera can be hooked up with your PC, so you can use it as a projector for your business presentations.

There’s a remote control included, which is good for controlling presentation slides. The remote control is also great for taking your vainpot camwhore shots without your face taking up two-thirds of the entire frame.

The Nikon Coolpix s1100pj is already on the market now selling for around RM1,000. It is a fun, little compact camera to use.

If I gotta pinpoint a couple of faults, perhaps it’s just that there’s a small but noticeable lag with the LCD touch screen. That, and the battery runs out in less than an hour if you use the projector function a lot, so don’t count on using it to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy or something.

Otherwise, I really enjoy using it to impress friends during parties. I just dunno whether to call it a camera projector or a projector camera. Truthfully, it performs both functions equally well.

Feel free to click to enlarge and inspect the image quality. It’s a picture of the 100-year-old Tua Pek Kong temple I took with the Nikon camera. I’m surprised it’s so good for a RM1,000 camera.

For other less-intended uses for this projector camera, I made this video right here:

Just don’t be too enthusiastic with that last suggestion in the video. 😉

ADV: The Apple iPhone 4 Review

You know you’re doing something right when people start bashing you mercilessly even before you’re officially released onto the market.

Way before Maxis brought the iPhone 4 onto the market, fanboys from the Blackberry and Android camps are drawing swords against iPhone supporters.

Blackberry fans say the iPhone is meant for kids and Blackberry is for business users. Android supporters claim their handsets can do much more at a much cheaper price.

But at the end of the day, only Maxis can still draw soooo much crowd that they had to hire a Grand freaking Ballroom at Gardens and put 60 registration desks in there just to handle the launch day sales.

Just like Shakira’s hips, these photos don’t lie.

People were queuing up even at 11pm on a Thursday night just to get the Apple iPhone 4. And I was one of them.

So I am a proud owner of an Apple iPhone 4.

Am I aware that the iPhone 4 can only do video calls on Wi-Fi? Yes. It frustrates me too when I want to show it off to my friends and I can’t.

Do I know that iPhone 4 is facing "Antenna-gate" controversy? Of course. Like Steve Jobs say, it happens to every smartphone out there.

Ultimately, all these pale in comparison with one plain and simple fact:

The Apple iPhone 4 just works.

Everything works right out the box, without needing to download this, install that and read up "How-To" guides online. If it can’t do a certain thing, then there will be an App for it. If there is no App for it, then you know it cannot be done.

Simple as that.

The first thing that struck me was how crisp and sharp the display is. Apple crammed so much pixels into such a small space to create what they call the Retina Display. Reading stuff off the screen is almost the same as reading text off magazines or newspapers. After looking at the iPhone 4, it is difficult to go back to regular LCD screen again.

The crispness extends beyond just the screen.

Everything about the iPhone 4 – the speakers, the buttons, the camera – is newer, sharper, crisper, harder.

Check out this photo I took using my iPhone 4.

I placed a layer of protective sticker over the back of the phone, but there’s no need for it. The phone is harder and more scratch-resistant than the previous iPhones, as well as other major smartphones out there on the market.

The iPhone 4’s FaceTime, or video-calling, is the best implementation I’ve seen on a phone EVER.

Video-calling is nothing new. It’s a 5-year-old technology that never really took off because the video and call signal on previous generations of phone is so bad.

But FaceTime on the iPhone 4 is smooth and clear it’s almost like talking on Skype. The difference is that I don’t have to lug around my laptop while doing so.

And I’m loving it. I toyed with the idea of going for an Android phone.

Although web-browsing and GPS is a lot faster, it just isn’t user-friendly enough to make me wanna buy it.

Sure, it is cheap.  But buying an Android for a phone is like buying a Linux for a PC. It can do a lot of stuff but the steep learning curve just isn’t worth it.

Compared to the Android, the iPhone 4 is just heaps easier to use.

I’m not say that it’s the be all end all.

The Apple iPhone 4 may not be the perfect phone out there, but no one can deny that it’s damn well near the top.

Steve Jobs didn’t just go about making a phone. It’s the experience altogether.

For someone like me who use my phone not just for calling, but for e-mailing, web-browsing on 3G, reading, travelling, gaming, running, taking photos, watching videos, listening to music and heaps of other stuff – it’s just a brilliant device.

I actually missed doing those stuff when I switched over to Blackberry, and now I’m discovering the joy all over again

The Apple iPhone 4 16GB costs RM1,690 on a 12-month contract with Maxis.

I say it’s worth getting it. The antenna issue is overrated. I have used the iPhone 4 for 2 weeks now and never have I experienced dropped calls just because of the way I hold it.

Maybe I have super hands those Americans don’t have.

But if you are still super worried, you can always hold your iPhone 4 this way.




Confirm won’t get signal drop.

ADV: A Day At Empire Shopping Gallery

Had some time to kill before I head to the airport, so I went to my hangout spot in Subang Jaya.

Despite it being a weekend, I had appointments with people and stuff to do before I return to Kuching.

First order of the day – BREAKFAST.

10:15AM Italiannies is running a 2-course meal promotion for RM27.90.

I ordered a minestrone soup and a shrimp linguine. The soup was okay, but man – that pasta was stunningly delicious!

The tomato paste married so well with the chunks of succulent shrimp. My mouth salivates just thinking about it.

I wished I had someone to share the meal with. The portions at Italiannies are huge by default. Halfway through and I’m already stuffed.


11:15AM – Outside the restaurant, the Ed Hardy store caught my eye.

More specifically, it was the “OMG SALE” signs that caught my eye.

I like the tees from Ed Hardy, but I don’t think I have enough charisma to pull off such flowery designs. I think I’m just more of a plain ol’ collared-shirt guy.


11:30AM – I signed up for a short-term membership with Fitness First Platinum.

Although I own a fitness centre in Kuching, I travel around the world regularly. I guess a fitness membership would come in handy. My platinum membership costs RM225 per month and allows me to use any of their gyms locally and abroad.

Fitness First is a fitness chain I’ve always admired. They are more expensive than their competitors, but they do run a service-oriented business and have branches all over the world.

Their Platinum branch on the 8th floor of Empire Shopping Gallery is truly a spectacle.

Heck, it even comes with a swimming pool overlooking Subang Jaya.


11:45AM – Realised I forgot to bring my workout attire, so I made a quick trip to adidas downstairs to purchase a new top.

It’s a huge store. I had no problem choosing what I wanted immediately.


1:30PM – After my workout and shower, I went down to loiter around the shops while waiting for my appointment.

Bought a classic polo tee from Tang’s.

The stuff at the Tang’s outlet here is priced quite affordably. It’s not like their store in Pavilion where the cheapest shirt would be like 200 bucks.

Made a mental note to pick up a pair of Havaianas before my next beach holiday.


2:00PM – Had lunch at Lam Mee Ya.



2:15PM – Diana and Mike from Kuching dropped by to say hi.

We wanted to drink, so we had our Happy Hour at Chilli’s.

Yes, alcohol at 2pm on a Saturday. A wise man once told me, “it’s never too early to drink beer.”

That wise man happens to work for Guinness.


3:30PM – Bought a Dr Brandt skin care kit from Ken’s Apothecary for a bargain RM99.

Dr Brandt hasn’t been very well known here, but it’s the hot stuff in Hollywood. Ken’s Apothecary is the only store that carries their range of products.

Oh, and the manager of the outlet reads this blog. Hello!


3:45PM – Chuckled to myself at this T-shirt.

You should never apologise for being sexy ok?


4:00PM – Not sure if it’s just me, but there seems to be a something happening almost everyday at the concourse of Empire.

I must have witnessed at least 2 fashion shows during the time I was there. Good entertainment, even when I don’t understand anything about fashion.


4:05PM – Spotted this great looking “coffee and cake” place outside Jaya Grocer.

I love it so much!

It’s called Whisk, and their concept reminds me of the cramped but cozy coffee bars in Melbourne CBD – back to b
asics, serving nothing but hot espresso and warm service.

When I got there, the seats were all full! I was so sad that I had to eat elsewhere.


4:15PM – Met up for my appointment with Ang Shao Ting and his girlfriend at an Malaysian-Western fusion restaurant called Serai.

Shao Ting is from Media Contacts – a digital media agency I started dealings with.

Since I started blogging, I met hundreds of media and PR agencies. Unfortunately, only a handful understood the intricacies of working with me. Shao Ting is one of the rare ones who do and I appreciate him for making my life easier.

Serai is a Western-Malaysian fusion restaurant. If you go there, I highly recommend you their Nasi Kerabu.


Don’t worry about the blue-coloured rice. That’s just the way it is. The proper way to eat this is to first mix all those ingredients around the plate a la Chinese New Year "lau seng" style, then put a spoonful of the mixture into your mouth.

You’ll be in heaven. When you come down, remember to send me a thank you note.

Finished the meal off with a Berry Pavlova.

The crust of the cake is so fluffy it melts in my mouth. So sinful, but so good.


5:45PM – Talked so much with Shao Ting I was late for my facial appointment with 128 Fauborg.

When I came in, the lady at the counter asked me to fill up a form. There’s a section that asked me for my race and religion.

I was not exactly sure what my race and religion has anything to do with getting a facial, so I wrote down the only logical thing to write.


6:45PM – I’m not vain, I just couldn’t resist their promotion – 2 facials for only RM50. I redeemed it using the vouchers I received at the grand opening of Empire Shopping Gallery.

Woke up feeling so much more pampered and refreshed.

7:00PM – Took a cab to KLIA for my flight home.

Satisfied with the fact that I spent a productive Saturday shopping, eating, drinking, talking, working, working out – all at the same place!

ADV: Fortune Favours The Bold

Spotted this ad on TV while I was in the USA and I simply LOVE IT.

It really epitomizes the idea that good things come to those who ask for it. Of course, there’s also that unrealistic thing about a guy who can just sit in a meeting, still get his beer, and then NOT having to pay for it.

But the point is – there’s a fine line between being shameless and being bold. There’s no point being subservient, because you’re always gonna live within the boundaries that other people set for you.

Being brave and bold – that’s always gonna win you friends and get you to places! 🙂

See, that’s the reason why I like drinking Guinness so much. I’m a sucker for creative marketing like that.

Makes me wanna try the same thing as well.

Hmmm… I think I might need wheels underneath my glass.

ADV: Lounge @ Royal Oak Review

When it comes to pubs & lounges, Kuching still lags a little behind the big cities.

KL has great pubs like Sid’s and Delaney’s. But in Kuching, there’s only a handful of pubs I’d feel comfortable hanging out at without being intimidated by rowdy hooligans.

Hey, I love a good beer as much as the next guy, but if a pub is filled with people who doesn’t not know how to drink responsibly, I’m outta there. But the new Royal Oak at Hills is a little different.

Lounge @ Royal Oak is a new pub/lounge/restaurant taking up prime location at the Hills Shopping Mall, next to Pullman Kuching. They’ve only opened for less than 2 months and already they’ve been getting rave reviews all over the place.

It’s a great place because it’s spacious, not cramped. Service is quick because they have a huge team of staff always running around. 

The owner of the place, Sperry Kong is a big fan of Irish pubs, circular bars and being environmentally-friendly. He made all these elements come together in his creation.

The centrepiece at Royal Oak is the bar made out of recycled bottles. Look closely at the bar top, and you’ll realise that it’s made out of 1 sen coins.

Up the stairs is a loft where the dining area is located.

I came here, famished, on a Friday night at 8pm. It was just before the party crowd flocked the place, so it’s still quite alright.

We asked the waitress for recommendations, and she suggested that we start with a plate of Royal Spring Rolls.

I thought the presentation was cute, but fried spring rolls aren’t my favourite stuff to eat in a pub. Instead, I highly recommend the Royal Grilled Chicken Wings.

You get your hands dirty peeling meat off the bones, but as a pub grub, nothing beats a great plate of piping hot chicken wings, especially when it’s grilled and dripping with hot marinade sauce. Mmm…!

For mains, my dining partner ordered Sirloin Steak. It was a little too well-done for her liking and they skimped on the gravy sauce so she didn’t quite enjoy it as much.

I ordered their Royal Alfredo Pasta for myself and totally loved it!

The prawns were fresh, the pasta was tender and the sauce were done just right. It smelt great when the waitress brought them in, and tasted even better when I put a spoonful in my mouth.

Royal Oak is a Guinness outlet and this St Patrick’s Day Festival, like all good Guinness outlets, they are embracing the Irish spirit down to the core.

There are two food promotions concurrently running.


The first promo is a packaged deal. Buy4 half-pints of Guinness Draught together with a platter of finger food, and pay just RM60 nett!

At Royal Oak, they served us lamb meat balls and chicken patties. Don’t be misled though, because these aren’t your usual run-of-the-mill finger food at the pub.


These are specially crafted finger food infused with the essence of Guinness.

The best thing is, different outlets throughout Malaysia are serving different Guinness-infused finger food from now till end of March, so there’s always an opportunity to try something new.

The other promo is to drink a bucket of Guinness Stout or 3 pints of Guinness Draught, and they’ll throw in a luggage padlock for free.

Not quite sure what relevance padlocks have to Guinness, or St Patrick’s Day.


Maybe they are suggesting you padlock your partner up and do all sorts of kinky stuff. I DON’T KNOW LAH.

The important thing is this: the annual Guinness St Patrick’s Day Festival is happening again! This time round it’ll be held at 1Utama this Friday 19 March from 6pm onwards. The highlight of the night is the live stand-up by Malaysi
a’s best comedians: Douglas Lim, Kuah Jenhan and others. More information can be found at . 

Too bad this year once again marks the third time in a row that I won’t be in Malaysia for St Patrick’s Day. 🙁

I’m not in Malaysia but in Los Angeles right now. Technically, I should be more excited ‘cos St Patrick’s Day is bigger in the US, right?

Well yes. But not when I have a 42km marathon race to run in a couple of days!

I won’t be drinking. Instead, please Do me a favour and raise a glass to Arthur.


Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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