Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Food: Pastis Cafe & Dining @ The Gardens Mall

Pastis Cafe & Dining was something Adam & I always walked past on our way from / to the car park in The Gardens, but never really got around to trying. They used to be relocated in the oval in front of Isetan & near Longchamp -- there was this one night where I was a few floors above looking down, observing their operations and I spotted a long row of microwaves. I commented to Adam, "Eh they don't even have a kitchen... does that mean everything's pre-prepared and just microwaved?"

We concluded that that probably meant that they did mostly tea-time food and hence, gave it a miss for dinner that night.

Rather newly relocated & enlarged; Pastis Cafe & Dining.

Some time around the end of last year (I think? Don't quote me on this) they relocated a stone's throw away -- this time much larger, and with an actual looking kitchen. With a rather impressing array of scrumptious looking dessert, we decided to give it a chance for a late Sunday lunch.

Colourful sin that caught my eye.


When I say they've become much larger, you can't really see it from the outside, but the area behind the escalators is also actually part of their seating area. It's a lot more comfortable and bright over there, and you kind of get away from the hustle & bustle of the mall for a bit.





We both felt like milkshakes that day, and we're pretty standard when it comes to milkshake flavours. Oreos for me and Strawberry for him. Not much griping when it come to their Oreo milkshake; except that they couldn't even give me a full Oreo to top the milkshake off. That piece in the picture is actually halved. The Strawberry, on the other hand, was tiring to drink from a straw. The concoction was way too thick and Adam had to request for some water to be added in.

A set of scones

And when the food came, the disappointment started. The scones were hard, extremely dry and unfortunately, didn't taste all that fresh. They were mildly reheated before they were brought over to our table, and by the time we were done with the first one, the rest had already hit room temperature. To top it off, it was served with a paltry amount of jam & clotted cream. Between the both of us, we couldn't finish three scones.

Chicken Pie served with Mash & Peas

Adam had the Chicken Pie with Mash & Peas. The mash and the sauce was good, but that was about it. The pie was disappointingly soggy and tasted nothing like what pie pastry should taste like. Instead of airy & flaky, it was limp and tasted like it had been hastily defrozen & microwaved (I say this with quite a large degree of certainty, because I microwaved many a frozen Coles pie during lazy-to-cook days back in Melbourne). Adam ended up eating the mash potatoes and scraping all the meat filling away from the crust.

Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

On to the Caesar Salad; I actually thought this was very tasty. The lettuce was fresh, and well-tossed with the dressing. I liked the prominent taste of egg, and the generous serving of grated cheese for flavour. The chicken that came together with it was well-marinated and tasty. Unfortunately, we found a piece of hair in the salad and I stopped eating immediately. They were nice enough to apologize and waive the price of the salad in the bill, but unfortunately, the damage had already been done.

Now, I'm sure it was only a one-off mistake and one that could and would happen almost anywhere, but even so, I don't think we'll be returning any time soon because the food was nowhere on par against the prices they're charging.

*

Pastis Cafe & Dining
Ground Floor,

The Gardens Mall,
Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur.






Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Review: World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles (2011)

World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles

So Dad managed to scrounge 2 free tickets from somewhere (I never ask him where he gets such things; the answer is always "from a friend") and gave them to me over the weekend. Of course the natural thing now is to ask Wendy to go, even though I know she won't exactly be jumping over the moon at the thought of watching a movie about guns and fighting and shooting and aliens.Good thing the tickets were free, or else I don't think I could have convinced her to watch it! It was a Monday night movie, and the tickets said free seating. Actually there were seat numbers but we weren't aware of it until other people started asking how come we were in their seats. Lucky thing we realized the problem early and I could solve it before the movie started, or else it would have been a real pain.

Before I start the review though, here's a quick compliment to the seats in Cineleisure at E@Curve. Even though we got bumped to 2 rows from the screen, it was actually fine, if not better, than the original top row seats that we had. Compare that to the front row seats we had at GSC Tropicana City Mall last Friday, where we nearly broke our necks trying to watch The Adjustment Bureau; I will NEVER recommend anyone to sit front row at that cinema. Better to save your money for another movie / day.


SYNOPSIS
The movie is based loosely around a group of Marines sent to Los Angeles with the task of helping in the evacuation of residents after unidentified meteors start landing all over the world. Mankind quickly realizes that they are no ordinary meteors however when alien troops begin to descend from the so-called meteors and attack the city. This becomes an unexpected twist in the mission of the Marines as they prepare to carry out their mission. Thus the movie follows the Marines as they fight to save the lives of a handful of civilians which they managed to find.

Lots of impressive sky shots.

Of course, there are mini back-stories between members of the Marine team which slowly come to light as the movie progresses. The show stars Aaron Eckhart (Who also did 2-Face in Dark Knight), Michelle Rodriguez (Who has done plenty other crash-slam-bang-bang movies in the past! Avatar! SWAT! Fast & Furious!) and Ne-Yo! (Who is admittedly more famous for singing than acting..=p)

Michelle Rodriguez, who seems to be the only capable female of kicking-butt in Hollywood.

Ain't no R&B in this movie. Ne-Yo takes on a geeky Marine who was on the verge of marriage.


REVIEW
In my opinion, end-of-the-world movies always follow a similar pattern: 1) a short introduction of the different characters portraying them going about their everyday lives, 2) an unexpected event occurs that breaks the ordinary routine, 3) mass panic becomes to ensue, 4) people die, bodies fly, but our heroes somehow manage to survive against all odds and emerge victorious, with various heart-breaking scenes when some important cast members are killed off along the way.

Battle Los Angeles is no different from the 4 steps just described. However the fighting scenes are not done in an overly dramatic way; ala Rambo style where everyone dies but somehow the heroes can dodge bullets. Nor are the emo scenes too cliched or cheesy, where even the tears look so fake and the desperate attempt to achieve some emotional attachment with the characters leaves viewers sniggering in their seats. No, Battle Los Angeles has actually managed to carve out a nice mix of action and drama, which can leave you on the edge of your seats at times, and also holding back a tear from rolling down your cheek at others.

Aaron Eckhart seems to be one of the few who can flit easily from genre to genre.

The mini back-stories, although predictable and nothing new, do help to give more depth to the characters, especially the male lead played by Eckhart. He does a good job portraying a gritty veteran with that been-there-done-that experience which he tries to use to help his Marines under him, who are just seeing combat for the first time. Although Eckhart's character is the oldest with the most experience, he has the rank of staff sergeant, or second-in-command to the lieutenant in the movie. This creates an interesting balance as on one hand he tries to keep the grunts in line while at the same time giving advise and encouragement to his superior who is fresh out of officer school.

Los Angeles in ruins.

If I had to pick the things I liked most about the show, it would have to be the never-say-die attitude of the Marines as they fight their way across the town. The teamwork and camaraderie amongst them is also a heartwarming feeling against a backdrop of chaos and violence. But what I found most enjoyable was the discipline that the lead character displayed, reminding his charges to always remember their training, while putting into practice what he had been taught as well. It's lessons like that which are also applicable in real life scenarios that really score points for me in a movie, and this one has done it very well.

That's some scary shit right there.

So to sum it up, it's not hard to see why Battle LA is at the number 1 spot on the US movie charts. We've been lacking a good war-and-chaos movie for awhile now, but the wait is finally over. The fact that aliens are the invading force just makes it even better because it's more unpredictable! Overall I give this a 4/5, and I recommend all of you to watch it too!



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