Thursday, 26 March 2009

Whats Cooking

With all the eating out I've been doing, I'm starting to feel like I'm mutating into something.  

Something MSG based.  

Maybe with two heads.  
And a breast.
And chicken feet. 

Not good at all.

To prevent this awful mutation, I needed a nice home cooked meal.

Now I wouldn't say I'm incompetent in the kitchen, because I CAN boil water.  

But my last attempt at cooking a roast chicken turned pale and soggy.  

And I did come fifth out of six in the last Iron Chef competition (I think I didn't come last because I actually put some effort).  

The girlfriend was once complaining that I didn't cook for her.
After the omelet I served her, where the eggs were still runny, I don't think she'll be wanting any more food from me for a loooooong time.

For my nice home cooked meal, I pulled out the ULTIMATE COOK BOOK for manly men (like me).

The Four ingredient cook book.

How can you go wrong! All recipes - requiring only four ingredients!!

Whoaa! It's as simple as 1-2-3-4!

In ten minutes, I was able to whip up this awesome beef stir fry.

Well.  maybe not the best tasting stir-fry.  Frozen vegetables don't have the same texture of their fresh counterpart.  

But still, I was able to fool my brother I bought it from the Thai restaurant down the street (either my cooking is good or the Thai restaurant is really bad 

or my brother was just really hungry).

Although, this is kinda cheating-cooking because it uses 'convenience' foods like frozen vegetables.  

But then again, what is cooking nowadays?  

2-minute noodles cooking?  

1) The 1kg steak challenge at Outback Jacks is crazy!!
2) Team Fortress 2 - So addictive.  This is the sole reason I haven't been blogging for ages
3) Hit prediction: Nickelback - Never Gonna Be Alone

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Season Ender - Will the House Builder

Remember that feeling when you finished the final exam for university or high school? 
That feeling of relief and satisfaction knowing that you've just completed the climatic finish to a life-chapter that's been years in the making?
Well I'm feeling that at the moment. 
I'm closing this chapter in my life called 'Will the House Builder'.
It started back in 2004, midway into chapter "Will the Bachelor". 

I realised I should be investing more on my future rather than splurging on a car, electronics or drinking my money away.  And to cut a very-long and procrastinated story about life, philosophy and properties, I came to a decision and bought an empty block of land.
 The empty block.   Comes with grass.

A couple of years later, I made the conscious decision to build a house.

The not so empty block.  No more grass.

Back then, I don't think I fully understood the work and stress and chaos required of such a project.
The questions I faced - Which one? when? colour? what type? size? 
Thousands and hundreds of questions I had to sort out.  And whilst some might be trivial, things get progressively more  stressful when the big dollars start hitting.
Perhaps its easier when done with someone.  At least there's someone to consult about the colour of doors and tiles.  

Then after the house construction there is still SOOOOO much work to be done!

My mentor for constructing, my dad.

But if I look back through the rectrospectroscope, I don't think I would want it done any other way. 

I've learnt so much from this.

The importance of planning and making decisions. 

Things to do and not do when painting. 

The dangers of tradespeople. The snake-ness of real estate agents. 

 Turtle Car wax on floor tiles. 

How great parents are. 

The wonders of poly-fila.  

Bunnings the best place on earth.

Importance of good communication.

Why o why did they paint my house orange?! I said beige!
And I consider myself blessed and lucky to have had this chance.  I'm so grateful to my family and girlfriend.  

How they laboured with me for days and days and hours on end. 
They gave me their short weekends to help me on my little project.  

They worked on stinking hot afternoons, in dust covered rooms, getting high on methylated spirits and blistering their hands on cheap paint rollers.
All in exchange for a KFC & Rice dinner and serves of frozen coke.
My sister was holidaying from Sydney, and she helped me paint! Aww...  so nice...

From this, I gather they really love me or they SIMPLY JUST LOVE KFC & Rice and frozen coke.

Monday, 16 March 2009

20 Under $20 - Mak's Place

Hello to another 20 Under $20 restaurant review!  Today's restaurant of choice is Mak's Place on William Street, Northbridge.
Handsome devil...

Anh picked this restaurant coz she really really really craved for chicken satay.
So you could only imagine how devastated we were when told they've run out!  

Thankfully the menu at Mak's Place provide for good alternatives.
Murtabak is really nice with the curry dipping sauce.

Mak's Place doesn't offer a super comprehensive menu, but a few dishes done well is better than many done badly.  

And food done well is definitely what Mak's is. 

Kway Tiah Goreng

Anh enjoyed here Kway Tiah Goreng.  It was light, refreshing and sauteed with a lot of fresh vegetables.

Nasi Lemak

For me the nasi lemak hit the spot.  The chicken was only a wing, but the very coconutty rice together with the peanuts, dried fish and the sambal were a great combination. 
We really enjoyed our meal, but were disappointed with the satay chicken shortage.

The waitress told us they simply couldn't make enough satay sticks to last the day! They need more hands to meet demand.

So we we came back another time and again they ran out!!  So a word of warning - the satay sticks are always high on demand!

When the owner saw the tears well up on our eyes, he decided to make some fresh ones for us! 



And we weren't disapponted.  :) 

Thumbs up for value and food.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009



What is it about us and doodling stuff?
I sat through a grueling three hour meeting today. 

During the meeting, I got a glimpse of what the guy next to me was doing.  

He was doodling!  He first drew a square.... which turned to 3D box... which then became the part of a sphere.  It all became very complex in the end.  Almost an optical illusion!

I turned to the other guy next to me and he was also doodling!   I think he was filling the holes in the letters P's, D's and O's of the meeting agenda.
And it wasn't just the listeners drawing stuff.  The meeting chairperson was scribbling his pen over and over arrows and ticks he's drawn on the minutes (which makes it look like he's writing notes fbut in fact he's just doodling some more!)
By the end of the meeting, everyone got little pictures tattooed all over their notes.
And when I got back to my desk, I noticed the scrap pad next to my phone.  I've drawn stars and circles and blobs and such whilst talking on the phone!

I don't know why we do this. I thought we grow out of doodling from the files and textbook scribbles in high school!  

I guess not.

Graphic novels turned movie

Saw Watchmen the other day. 
I wasn't impressed.  

It was a meh movie.  Hardly worth the Greater Union ticket vouchers we used up.   Should have saved it for the Wolverine movie.
Dr Manhattan has many talents

I heard you really have to be clued-in on the graphic novel to appreciate the movie.
I dunno. I just couldn't get excited watching it (well... except may in one scene).

Im currently very very very very very hooked watching Skip Beat.
I think its kinda geared toward girly teens - BUT I DON'T CARE!! I've done enough girly stuff recently so this doesn't' matter!

I can't wait to see how Kyoko performs in her next acting gig.  
And the over the top comedy is very funny.  

I haven't been hooked like this since the Sakura and Sasori battle in Naruto Shippuden or the races in Initial D.

Actually, I got impatient waiting for each episode to come out and be translated from Japan that I've started reading the manga.  

But yes, the anime is still heaps better.
I hope this series never ends!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Recurring Dream

I woke up to the terrible dream today.

Every once in a while, I'll get this same themed dream. And every time I'd wake up feeling worried, anxious and stressed.

This recurring dream is always the same.

Always about an exam (some sort of mathematical exam).

In my dream I would be chatting with my friends outside the exam hall. We'd joke about how much we studied.

I would half-laugh because I haven't studied at all.

I was too busy doing something else. I thought I can just wing-it for that day.

Seated inside the hall, the guilt of having not prepared would paralyse me.
I'd be really nervous and be too worried of my impending failure.

In my last dream, I barely finished two of the 100 multiple choice questions. I didn't even bother to guess the rest.

I remember flickering the questions book and growing pale after discovering the short answer and essay questions I haven't touched (yes in my dream math exams have essays).

When the time runs out, I would rush to scribble some last minute answers.

But I know its too little too late.

After they collect my papers, I would sit there alone in the hall of desks.
I knew I've lost everything.


Depressing emo dreams aside, looking forward to playing Left 4 Dead this Monday.

Finally rounded up three friends to join the crusade against zombie hordes.

I tried playing it with randoms from the other parts of the world, but I keep on picturing fat nerdy guys so I can't really get into it.

Should be heaps fun hearing my friends scream and swear as they get overwhelmed by zombies.

I think online co-op gaming is the way to go these days. Its just so much fun!

Nothing beats friends banding together to fight a common foe.
Shotgun for zombies. Napisan for blood stains

If my Left 4 Dead company works out good, I might recruit them for Diablo 3.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

20 Under $20 - Gypsy Tapas

Gypsy Tapas is the next restaurant in our 20 Under $20 list.

Its located in Highgate Court in Fremantle.  If you know where mini-roundabout close to Myers Fremantle, then its about ten paces from there.  Just follow the drums and music and it will lead you there.

 The live music was great.  All that was missing was the monkey in the red vest

Visiting Gypsy Tapas was a fun experience.  

There was festive music playing in the background and quirky way the restaurant presents itself really takes you to another place (somewhere in Europe I think.. I'm not that familiar of Gypsy history).  

The restaurant reminded me of times playing Quest for Glory 4, where I had to go to the gypsy camp and get my fortune told.  Shame I'm not really a Level 14 Thief with magic skills.
The staff is friendly and with the 30 odd choices on the tapas menu, you really get that 'anything-goes' easy-going vibe. 

But we were there on a food mission. We were to check if the place was worthy of the 20 Under $20 crown.
Now every item on the tapas menu is $7.50.  If you do a little multiplication you will find that on a $20 budget, you can really just have two dishes.  

Anh and I made it a combined $40 price cap to get us an extra dish.  But five dishes were not really substantial for two people.  You really want to do the $30 all-you-can-eat tapas to get your fill.

So with that (and my simple mathematics) I gave it a thumbs down for value for money.

But how about the food and taste?

Sadly, we didn't really enjoy the food either.  The dishes were either too bland or too strong in flavour. 

The brie salad was so overpowering it killed my taste buds.  Even the giant meatballs with cheese were uneventful.  

Meatballs with cheese!! Imagine how disappointed I was!

Preserved fish with aioli. Preserved fish is VERY salty
With nothing really outstanding on the menu, Anh had to give the food the thumbs down.
My unflattering picture of chicken drumsticks

So with great regret, we gave Gypsy Tapas a double thumbs down.

Regrettable because the fun and friendly atmosphere made us want to like the place.

Barrel tables! Where's me pirates? argggg!