Tuesday, May 29, 2012

OldTown Berhad Annual Dinner 2012

This year's company dinner was held in Kinta Riverfront Hotel on the 14 April. Wow, time really passes real fast and this time around, its my third company dinner with OldTown Berhad. This means I have spent more than 3 years with this company and it's one great company to be attached with in Ipoh.

Its only the one-time event in the year which I will put on make-up (besides stage performances for Christmas). We were given an apartment unit in Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Apartments. The apartment is a 2 room apartment just next to the hotel, not opened for business yet I reckon.

The plus point of being a committee is, you get free makeup! Though some may prefer to have their make up professionally done outside rather than entrusting their look on trainees from SuperStar Beauty School. But for me, it doesn't matter much as long my complexion looks good on photos. Hehe...

Fastforward to the evening: The "photo corner". Since the committee uniform was an "airline theme",  the decor was based on an aeroplane runway overlooking landmarks with OldTown theme. The pilot, steward and stewardess idea was nice but thanks to somebody who took FULL CHARGE of the design and protocol of the night, I felt that it has lost its touch! And somehow, lack of taste

 Registration started at 6pm and most of them came early to snap photos although dinner officially kicks start at 7pm.

 Some of employees were very supportive and sporting! Giving their best in searching for the apparel which match the dinner's theme. Each and everyone of you have indeed made the dinner a success!

Some of the staff who dressed according to the theme. The ushers of the night was in racing girls suit. I have a crush for one of them. Can you roughly guess who? ^.^

Another boss of mine. He is the son of the owner of the famous Nam Heong coffeeshop in the Ipoh Old Town area. Spotting a smart pilot uniform, Andy marched in and was accompanied by the parade of Annual Dinner Committee members. That's your truly just right behind him.

Our Chairman giving a speech. Normally, we only see him in "official events" and newspapers. That's like once a year if in person? Hehe...

 Since this is food blog, it wont be complete if there is not a shot on the dishes. But one photo would suffice because the food was just so-so only. Well, not much to expect from HALAL Chinese cuisine right?

The 5 year long service award recipients. I've looked through each and every individual recipients photoshoot with our boss, Mr Lee. He striked and maintained a very photogenic smile in almost every single photoshoot with each and every award recipient but there was one exceptional person...

... None other than the 10 year award recipient, our COO of FMCG Division, Alex Chuah. I've zoomed into high resolution version of this photo and found out that some wrinkles can be seen at his eye, showing utmost joy and happiness to congratulate a person who has contributed a lot to his empire. I wished I'm in that position also in years to come. Maybe I can't reach to that level, but maybe relatively near there, at least, halfway there in terms of SALARY would be more than great!

A.U.N.T.Y. Generation... performing some.... ermmm Cheerleading and Pom-pom dance routine.

The Champion Team for the Best Dressed event. They have matched the theme, posed a great impact and controlled the stage and somehow their presence was still felt after the went backstage.

The team which performed an erotic and seductive dance, clad in SWAT/NYPD Police uniform. Somehow they did not made it to the top 3. It was said they got penalized for exceeding the time limit. But was that the reason, or their performance was a bit "menjolok mata"? LOL.

This is my 3rd Annual Dinner with OldTown Group and finally, the dry spell is over as I managed to walk back with something this year. RM300 cash prize during the early stages of lucky draw. And to make things sweeter, the number was drawn by my new superior, my Factory General Manager.

Lucky winner of the grand cash prizes of the Lucky Draw Finale. RM5000, RM3000 and RM1500 respectively while 2 less fortunate ones managed to walk away with RM500

 Somebody still owes us a meal. Prior to the dinner, my makan gang have already "pledged" to set aside a percentage of our prize money if anyone of us were that lucky to win something "big". How does RM3k sounds to you? Hehehe... Even a mere 5% tax would get us 2 towers of beer!!! rawrRRRwRs!!!

The Organizing Committee of OldTown Berhad Annual Dinner 2012. It's great working together with MOST of you. Looks like for next year I will just sit back and relax without being involved in anything, except for hoping to bring back some good cash or prizes. Till then, wait for my next post on the committee's appreciation dinner =)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthday Celebration 2012 with my dearies...

 After the blasting on Barossa Japanese And Thai Fine Dining, it's time to regain some positive aura in this blog. Finally, after the long wait, the photos of my birthday celebration has been uploaded. Looks like the post on my company annual dinner will have to wait and give way to the long awaited bday celebration post which supposed to be up on April. Well, for good quality photos, it was worth the wait. The above photo was one of my favourite shot of the night. The lighting is very natural and everybody was looking good (and still sober)

 This year's birthday was intentionally meant to be a bit "low profile", especially on social network. I purposely hid my birth date from my profile page, thus preventing birthday notification/reminders to those in my circle of friends. Somehow I'm glad my friends took the effort to plan a sweet birthday celebration for me. In my company, you get a "complimentary" leave on your birthday, and to make things greater, the following day April 11th was declared a public holiday this year for the YDPA Installation.

Since there is no work the following day, give me one good excuse not to drink and I shall give you 101 reasons why we should seize the day (or night rather)! Photographs are self explanatory most of the time. =)

 Besides the tower, Bricks and Barrel also offer beers in sets. 3 full pints (500ml) or 5 pints of 300ml at RM60 before 9:30pm everyday. You can mix and match from Stouts, Kilkenny, Strongbow, Tiger and Heineken. Currently, they are also offering affordably priced set dinners, starting from RM17.

Look at the liquor being offered. Be it wine, cocktails, draft beers or even hard liquor, there is certainly something to meet your tastebuds =D

If not, just go for the RM60 tower of Tiger draft. It may not give the "kick" to certain beer drinkers, go for the Heineken round of 5 at RM60 as mentioned earlier. =p

While we are still sober, lets go through the food. Ahaha... The set comes with a soup of the day and a dessert. Price varies for what main course you choose. The soup of the day was Minestrone Soup. I was in Bricks and Barrel a week ago for my mom's bday and they served the same soup too. Everyday I'm Minestrone-ning ┗(-_- )┓ ┏( -_-)┛┗(-_-)┛┏(-_-)┓

Salmon Steak (RM22). The portion isn't very big. But for RM20+, it is worth the price. The salmon was grilled to well perfection, a crisp skin but still maintaining its moisture in the flesh. It's served with some herbed cream sauce, mashed potatoes and mixed vegetable salsa. Portion is just appeasing to most ladies....

 Dreamy Lamb (RM22) - Grilled to a lightly charred exterior, the lamb was a bit too chewy to my liking. Portion was not very filling. Served with mashed potatoes, accompanied with mint paste and caramelized onions. But I must admit, their food presentation is nearly inferior to none for restaurants/bistro/pubs in this category.

 These are photos of the sets I ordered during my mom's birthday celebration a week earlier. This is the Teriyaki Chicken Set (RM17) - a whole caramelized drumstick served with Briyani rice and vegetable Salsa. Not too heavy again, portion is just right.

 The Guiness Lamb Shank Set (RM28) was not very big either. A bit too salty to my liking, you might need to avoid too much sauce accompanying the meat. Saltiness aside, I felt that the meat was tender and could be easily removed from the bone without much effort. A small scoop of mashed potato to meet your carbohydrate fix.

And if all fails to fill your stomach, consider ordering the pizzas here! Loved the Hawaiian Pork Pizza (RM25) with generous portions of bacon and cheese. They were a bit too generous with the sauce, causing the whole thing to be a bit too moist to my liking. After all, the over-doing with the tomato puree would not be necessary since it has a thin and crispy base.

 Dessert was not those measly and pathetic slice of watermelon. Even if a scoop of ice cream was served, BB did made sure that passion was there in preparing it. This was very evident in the almond slices and strawberry syrup. Simple toppings but went a long mile in ensuring a satisfying finish to the set meals.

 Never mind if the mains are not filling, the special of the day was indeed my birthday cake! I was given 3 guesses and yet I still did not manage to guess what flavour they bought for me. So thoughtful of them to get me my first ever ice cream cake for my birthday! From my favourite cakeshop... Family Cake House.

Me gusta!!! Le me picking up candles with my lips. It's a tradition since school days, isn't it? Let's not upload those funny photos of my dears feeding me with strawberries here....  =)

Here's a closer look to the Ice Cream Cake. Its a 1/2 kilo cake but enough to satisfy us. Two layer of sponge sandwiching chocolate ripple vanilla ice cream. The whole cake is decorated with dark and white chocolate shavings!

 A group picture flanked with pleasant ladies from my company. It was coincidence that we were all from different departments in our company - accounts, IT, CSR, admin and HR. I'm always jokingly termed the "CEO" of my makan group because I'm the one spear heading our gastronomic gatherings. Although birthday celebrations have toned done since graduations, I'm thankful that every year I'm very well blessed with the friends around me. Especially those who did not depend on FB to remember your birthday! Thanks Nicole, Evonne, Christine, Kathy and Rachel for the well planned birthday treat.

And there! The couple from Singapore whom are one of my colleague's friend joined us midway. Lennard was the one snapping photos of that night with crisp and brilliant shots with his trusty DSLR. Being a foodie himself, his FB was always full of his food adventures. Once again, thanks for spending your time with me on my 27th birthday! Love you all loads! ^^

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Barossa Japanese Fine Dining via Groupon

Japanese food overlooking a scenic green golf course. Sounds familiar? Yup, KizunaOne used to offer good Japanese food in Royal Perak Golf Club. Somehow, the place changed management (and chef too most likely) and it was named Barossa. It has been in business for quite some time but I was not keen to try it after hearing that it serves both Japanese and Thai food under 1 roof.

Until I got to purchase some Groupon vouchers for the Salmon set. This was my first purchase in Groupon. Well, Groupon has not been expanding their business to Ipoh until now. I thought, not bad... for RM20, I can have a pass to experience a new dining experience. Well, the experience was indeed new, very different from KizunaOne, albeit not a memorable one. The restaurant was so hot and stuffy because they must be on "cost efficient" mode to switch on 1 or 2 units of cassette air conditioning unit on the ceiling. The air was solely from those Tower Air Cooler only.

3 of us arrived first, while another 2 have were late. We brought our own coupon separately. Upon seating, the service captain confirmed with us our bookings and checked our vouchers. We passed her the vouchers and told her that 2 of our friends are on the way. Without asking further, she came back in less than 10 minutes to serve us our food! Heck, she didn't check with us whether do we want to have our food served first and made her own decision to "prepare" and "serve" it even though we informed her beforehand that WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE ON THE WAY! She insisted that the food should be served and not held back because it wont be nice if its cold already.

Heck, this is actually what you get. Look similar as advertised but the Salmon teriyaki is freaking cold! No wonder she insisted that we accept the food being served immediately upon preparing. I felt, it was REHEATING rather than preparing. The raw salmon sashimi DO NOT have the refreshing feel and I suspect that it was again prepared in advance. In fact, I don't feel that the salmon slices were fresh either. The Groupon vouchers were priced at RM20 for 1 set or RM36 for sets. You get a small slab of grilled teriyaki salmon, salmon sashimi, salmon nigiri sushi and salmon makis. Looks like a steal for RM20 but for the quality and service, I felt that you better go for the ones in Jusco supermarket. We had side orders of Potato Salad, Garlic Fried Rice and portion of Seasoned Octopus and Seasoned Jellyfish. All of them failed to deliver. Although it was only RM20, but I was utterly disappointed with the passion of serving food and my mood was spoilt by the service. I don't think this place deserve any revisit at all, not to mention any positive feedback to the people around me. Bah!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tang Shifu, AEON Station 18

"To convey life esthetic through nourishing culture". This is the motto of Tang Shifu, the latest addition to the eating list for Ipohians. Tang Shifu went into F&B business back in 2008 with vast experience in Chinese medicine, herbs and tonic drinks since 1991. Based in Johor, their business has expanded to the central region, spanning over 10 outlets and now, the craze has hit the Northern region. And Ipoh was chosen to be the first (I'm not sure whether any outlet was opened in Penang)

Dang Gui Stewed Pork With Rice (RM7.90 - for white rice, RM8.90 for brown rice). The stewed pork was tender and flavourful with the right amount of saltiness. Served with some black fungus (muk yi), the portion is quite substantial for a hassle free lunch.

Dried Scallops & Petite Abalone Mixed Rice (RM12.90). A thick gravy with chopped mushrooms and dried scallop makes this dish something like the "kai lup fan" concept, but of course with some PETITE abalone. I did not manage to catch a proper individual photo of the "petite" abalone, but these tiny morsels are the same ones you find in certain premium style of serving Yee Sang. Yup, the size are just slightly larger than watermelon/sunflower seeds.

Mee Suah with Herbs And Red Wine Set (RM13.90) -  Served with a whole drum stick. The broth is actually totally similar like "Drunken Chicken Stew" served when mothers are under confinement. Best taken when hot as the mee suah will turn soggy over time. Since it's a set meal, it comes with a small plate of stewed black beans and stewed pork as sides.

Broccoli with Sliced Abalone & Scallop (16.90). I'm not that blessed to be eating abalone regularly, so I can judge and evaluate the standard and quality of the sliced abalone used in this dish. To be honest, it has a bland taste. On the other hand, the scallop was succulent, not the freshest but still beats most places. At least it was fresher than the one served in David's Dinner Seafood Platter. The wolf-berries add a slight aroma when taken together with the vegetables. There are other few vegetables dishes for those who makes greens as a compulsory dish.

 Ginkgo With White Fungus Dessert (RM5.90) - This dessert is said to sooth and cool down a heaty body system. Ginkgo nuts, its proven to improve memory.

Dried Pear with Chuan Bei (RM5.90)  - A bit too sweet to some, but just right for me. The aftertaste of "rock sugar"/ honey used coupled with the essence of pear is said to sooth the throat and respiratory system. Suits me who have been having dry cough and a sore throat for the last few days.

So, one bowl of nourishing dessert is not enough, I went for a serving of Snow Jelly with Ginkgo (RM8.90). Snow Jelly is actually a type of "winter frog" which is believed also to give soothing effect to the respiratory system... If I'm not mistaken, the proper name for winter frog/snow jelly is Hasma, they are actually dried fatty tissues of a species of frog only to be found in winter season

If you are Public Bank credit/debit card holder, you get a 15% off the bill for at least RM50 spent. Finally, the bank which I loathe the most bringing me some benefit as a consumer/client.

Finally, a suitable eating place for the hardcore elderly with a Chinese taste buds who cannot accept spicy (Malay), creamy (Western) or raw (Japanese). Sometimes its hard to bring our parents out for a good meal on special occasions other than posh Chinese restaurants like Mun Choong, perhaps you might wanna give this place a try. They do serve slightly more exotic dishes like Birds Nest (ranging from RM29.90 to the more premium quality at RM129) Poon Choi is also available at RM129 for 2 pax, Mini Buddha Jump Over the Wall at RM69.90. Well, it has dishes which caters to everyone's budget (Example: I had the herbal tea eggs at RM2.90 for 3 pieces) ^^