Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chilling out at Bites, Batik Boutique Hotel

How do people just make something out of scratch? I've always wondered about the philosophy of creating something out of nothing... Especially when it comes to food. And especially when it turns out to be spectacularly gratifying.

But try this: Most of the dish served at Bites by the Batik is made from scratch, or so the manager cum spokesperson Jolene kept claiming.

I didn't believe her until I was served their mushroom soup, well, for starter anyway. It looked real pretty sitting there, but a dunk of garlic bread later, and the whole bowl completely disappeared. Honestly, it tasted different, yummy edible, but different all the same. So that's how a soup made from scratch tasted like.

Next came the main dish... beef burger served with grilled wedges. The patty was thick, scrumptous, and done to perfection. Topped that with cheese, pickle and lettuce, and you got something much much more elegant  than your average street burger.

And washed all those down with a glass of resfreshing Strength of Tarot - Mint and Lemon. I could almost still taste the minty flavor, not too overpowering, not too weak. Sublime.

My neighbour cum partner had this,  lamb burger. Oh gad seriously... all these patties are thick! Tempting evil! Topped with something that looks like goat cheese (I think lah, or not) and beetroot pickle and lettuce, and served with grilled wedges. Didn't have a chance to try it, maybe next time baby?

My other neighbour, a vegetarian, had this: grilled vege salad. It has in it, lemme see, lettuce, tomato, pickled olive, brinjal, capsicum, and some cheese (that again, looks like goat cheese). It looks sizeably healthy, but since I'm not much of a salad person, I'll pass.
And for dessert... here's a little adventure time! An unconventional mooncake-pudding naughtily called Oriental Mooncake Jelly 5. The reason for the '5' (i happily assumed) is probably due to this exotic little thing being infused with tuak (rice wine) and wolfberries. *hic*

And dinner practically concluded at a reasonable price, if I say so myself. So if you ever crave a mean burger in Kuching, drop by Bites at Batik Boutique Hotel. You can't miss the place, the exterior looks exotic, tasteful, and strikingly remarkable. Batik.

It's a lovely place to chill out after work, to grab a quiet dinner with your loved one, or simply to have some private meetups or discussion. And so thank you Sarawak Bloggers for the opportunity to discover another chic sexy place to eat out.

Operating hours: Opens daily, from breakfast through dinner.
Address: Lot 38 Jalan Padungan, Kuching. (Right across the road from Tun Jugah Mall)
Tel: 082-422845

Monday, October 22, 2012

Add to cart Monday ...

Hate Mondays? I know a quick remedy. Come, accompany me to the online malls.

I mean, how could you resist signs that say 'Free shipping', '50% off online sales', 'Weekend Deals Specials', 'Privileged Shopper Deals', 'Buy 2 get 1 on the house'... etc?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up spending nearly RM100 online on a Monday morning. Very therapeutic, even if the item on sales is probably one that you gamble your body-size on upon a successful transaction. No matter.

Now you try. I know you some of you are having your pay-day today... Ha ha ha. What are you waiting for?


Ok ... now continue work!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania

Ok now, for some easy digestion. No reading between the lines needed. I was going to write about this last week after I watched it but then stuffs get in the way. So anyway ... 

Note: Fans of animation shall not compare this with Ice Age or Madagascar because it is in a class of its own. And luckily it didn't premier at the same time either, so phew. 

My verdict: Ha ha ha! Good one there! Good one! Say what? Aha ha ha. Almost missed that. Damn, that was fast!

I haven't had a good laugh watching animated movie since well... Ice Age or Madagascar. The former two were amusing and fun in a straightforward way, but this is hilarious in a parody sort of way. The amount of sarcasm in this movie is just the right dose. You think you know your bloodsucking tall legends and myths? This movie effectively screwed Edward Cullen + Bella team double time over. No offense, but seriously, at some points, you do feel like you wanna slap the both of them, don't you?

Shall I give you a brief review? I shall spoil it for you! : Hotel Transylvania is about a kid she-vamp daughter of Dracula, being raised by a very protective single dad that he would go to any length to  keep her away from mankind. So he created this humongous mansion somewhere in the world called Hotel Transylvania -- well basically for a teenager, it's more of like a luxurious prison -- so he can keep an eye on her all the time. Her friends would be all kinds of monsters you read or watched in movies of the kind: Frankenstein, Big Foot, Werewolves, Critters, ... I even saw those cute ugly ones from Monsters Inc... ? You try watch see if you note any of them.

Get a load of this puppy-dog-eyed cuteness!

Over-protective you say? Well you know, sometimes I wonder if this vampire thing concept is similar to the Tarantula where the scientist will tell you that those deadly spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them and will only attack upon being threatened. I don't know for sure, I think perhaps my bat-instinct has been badly screwed up after watching Twilight, The Underworld, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire Assistant, True Blood, and Fright Night. I don't know who's more confused, everybody else or just me...

Anyway, one day an adventurous human-boy walked in on them in the middle of a party, lost and unsuspecting, and WHAM! Her whole life changed! And this is where you go to the nearest cinema and watch it yourself. Okay?

There's a whole lot of conspiracy in here, mainly to defunct the vampire theory. It's pretty much one good line after another and sometimes, if you don't listen hard enough, you'll miss it. Oh don't be  too hard on yourself, this movie is actually fun, if I say so myself. I was prepared to be bored sick and sleepy, but then, Dracula happened!

Moral of the story: Your zing will come, cherish it.

Oh, and my favourite line:

"A wooden stake to the heart? Who wouldn't die from that?" Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Balancing life ...

[In deep thoughts...]

Hey there.

This calls for a coffee moment because office hours just about done and I am finally a little bit free now. Yay. It has been a crazy few weeks and I haven't been updating much, if you noticed. Not really experiencing some kind of mental block because I do have a lot to write, just that given a really accepted excuse, time and energy has been keeping me from actually doing that. Focus is a luxury these days.

No movie review today. No food indulgence. No crapping. No condemning. Just taking a measured look at own life.

On one hand, am trying to run my personal life as private as I can, while quietly and slowly erasing those memories from the past that has anything to do with me or other people that I'm circling around with. And making a lot of new ones to overrun the rest. It hasn't been all that tough since being in something voluntarily and willingly gives you enough motivation to keep going on, adapt, accept, nurture, and sustain. This might sound a little premature but since it's almost year end now, I have to say that 2012 has really been great to me so far. Sometimes all it takes is one small brave step forward to push you to the right direction, and taking those further steps with a lot of faith and confidence. You can't go wrong wherever you tread with honesty, sincerity, and purity of heart. That's what my Pastor says, and he happens to be my dad too.

While on the other hand, am doing my best to run my working life, career, job... whichever you wish to call it without sounding repetitive or prejudiced. Did I tell you that 1st October was the anniversary of my 3rd year working with this organization? Well, all I can say about it right now is that I never regretted leaving my job as a civil servant in a well-known department for this small not-quite well-known (yet) one. It has its ups and downs and rock and rolls and twist and turns, but then to compare, there are way worst places to work in. Here, you have a misunderstanding one day, you settle it, get over it, and forget about it, without holding grudges or fake affection. Results matter, and how you get them counts. You give respect, you get some in return. You do your task at the best of your abilities, exceeding them at some point, and go home happy and satisfied when each day concluded. You treat each other like family, but you always remember and appreciate more the real family that you go home to day after day. And lately it's getting to be more than what pays the bills, it's what gives you some self-worth and pride at the end of the day.

So if you asked me, am I happy today?

Happiness is probably subjective. Some can be seen and measured, and some can be read about all over media social channels, while some are kept solely private but for the people closely concerned.

But am I content? Now there's a question after reading the above that if you still had to ask, then you probably missed it and more.

Happy Wednesday Coffee everyone.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dabai in little big town Sibu ...

Guess what people?

This would be the best time of the year to go visit SIBU! No no no ... not for the night life or the clubbing scene as recently reported in one of the local dailies. Although for the life of me I couldn't understand nor accept why some people would be so ridiculously shallow to actually be judgmental of other people who were only out in town for some unwinding sessions with friends or acquaintances without bothering anybody nor spending other people's money but their own. I say... that article would potentially pissed a lot of people, if it didn't already. It's not about drinking or having a rowdy good time or showing bad examples to future gens that's the issue now, isn't it? The editor probably overlooked that report, otherwise it never would've made it to print, or at least rewritten, like what my ex-boss would've done in those days. Unless you're a blogger or a columnist with your own dedicated space or an established well-known journalist or writer, you don't get to write news piece like that and injecting your own opinions, worst when it's biased opinions, which is why you weren't supposed to do so in the first place. You think easy meh being a reporter? You have to be a responsible uneasily-swayed writer, otherwise you would downgrade the very paper that pays your bills. Become a blogger also people would condemn us for simply opine on something.

Tsk tsk tsk. BUT... My. How I could digress! See what you made me do? 

Anyway... I was going to say that this would be the best time to visit SIBU because dabai season is here again!

A little 411 on this fruit: Dabai can only be found in Sarawak. There, special exotic native fruit, Sarawakians, don't you just love yourself now? And it grows best along the Batang Rajang river, which explains why it is found abundantly in Sibu because its feeder areas are Kapit, Song, and Belaga, and sometimes in Kanowit. Which also explains its distinctive taste compared to dabai grown in other places in Sarawak, like Kuching. My friend who's a so-called dabai expert, said that it would be lucky indeed if dabai can grow elsewhere other than along that river, and even if you take the seeds from Song for example, when grown elsewhere, it wouldn't have the same taste. How would I know? I listen, take note, eat, make comparison, take note, eat, make comparison, eat... and by the time I'm done comparing, I'd be too full to be hey -- word of the day! -- JUDGMENTAL!

So last week I went to Sibu on official business, made my way to the wet market after work concluded, and bought myself a RM24 per kg worth of freshly picked dabai. Expensive? Ho yeah! But who cares. It would go down as cheap as RM8 per kg once the season is in full blown in another month or so, but hey, I'm in Sibu already. Why not right? It's not like I come to Sibu all the time to spend money having a good time and get harassed for it.

Price differ depending on grades, level of freshness, and size...

For the untutored, dabai is purplish black in colour when ripe, before that it was white. You need to soak them in hot water (or lukewarm water, for some) for a few minutes until tender. Drain the water, sprinkle with salt (if you prefer), then voila! Ready to be served! 

Best taken on its own while watching CSI, or with a proper meal. I like mine dunked in a dose of soy sauce with chilli and sugar. The hotter it is, the more action your morning after will get. :p

And you thought you could give Sibu a bad name? Shame on you.