Ristorante Italia

In this game, you are a chef running a Italian restaurant. The winner is the one with the most points and the way you get points are as follows:
  • Cook food with high rating
  • Have the best set of recipe, especially with matching theme
  • Have the best/2nd best dish
  • 'Encourage' VIP critics to go to your restaurant (i.e., as Ban said, bribe them lol)
  • Have the most money at the end of the game
  • Buy wine, especially those that match your food recipe
  • Buy dining tables (yah, your restaurant has no such tables to start with)
  • Buy bonus cards that give additional points
To do that, you will need to manage well your resources: money. Money is used to buy ingredients, wine, dining tables and bonus cards. Money is generated from recipe that has been revealed (and therefore the food is on your menu), wine and dining table. Some bonus cards also, effectively, give you ad hoc money.

There is a variety of bonus cards besides those that give additional points and money. One type is those that give you an advantage in getting ingredients e.g. allow you to buy straight from the crate, rather than depending on what's available in the market. My top two favourite bonus cards are the one that allows you to buy 2 ingredients instead of 1 during your shopping action and the one that allows you to restock a market when you take a non-shopping action.

Ban and I love this game. Recently, however, we discovered something amiss about it: fruits appear in far fewer recipe compared to other type of ingredients and therefore the bonus card that allows you to buy fruits straight from the fruits crate is so much weaker than that for other ingredients.

RI 161

This is where I tried playing the game focusing on accumulating dining tables and forgoing wine. Total points = 161. Can't remember whether Ban or I won this game.

RI 164

Total points = 164. Again, I forgot whether I won or not but judging from the number of recipe I revealed, dining tables bought, and that I won the best dish (evidenced by 2 golden spoons), I probably did win this game.

Ristorante Italia 190 won

I do remember winning this one. Total points = 190. I incorporate Ban's winning strategy of getting wine as soon as possible as well as getting dining tables towards the end of the game. Wow, I won a lot of stars and golden spoons too hehehe.

Recently we played again and this time Ban won with 185 points vs my 135 points. I made a mistake at the very start that proved to be too costly for me. I knew I would lose early in the game but I nevertheless tried my best to minimise the losses.

In keeping with tradition subconsciously, I don't have photo of that game where I lost :P

Penang ferry

I think the last time I took a ferry to Penang was nearly 2 decades ago @_@ I'm so old already lol.

It is still quite enjoyable taking the ferry. Although it takes sometime to cross the sea to the island, time passes by quickly when one is out of the car taking a view of the surrounding or merely just enjoying the wind. For the money-conscious people, it's also cheaper to take the ferry than the bridge.

Too bad the dolphins were spotted a few weeks later. I hope to spot some when I'm next on the ferry.

Penang ferry

Salmon sushi

This is the minimum standard I set for good salmon sushi:


This salmon sushi was served by Kinpachi at Subang Jaya.

Yes, some may say that "Oh, it's at a proper Japanese restaurant. Of course you should get good sushi." Let me say that, posh or not, it's hard to get good salmon sushi in KL. It's mind-boggling.

To put into perspective, salmon sushi served by Sakae Sushi, sushi restaurant that targets the masses with relatively cheap sushi, is among the top 5 best in KL in my opinion. I can't find 5 proper Japanese restaurants, fine-dining included, that serve better sushi than Sakae.

Penang street art

One morning, I followed my sister's family to drop by a few places in Georgetown to see the famous Penang street art done by a famous artiste:

Penang street art (i)

There were quite a lot of people taking photos with these art. Interactive art in action and being good at it too.

Penang street art 3

We were pretty sure this wasn't done by the same artiste but nevertheless I think it's interesting...and disturbing at the same time.

Unusual cafe front

Incredibly lifelike, isn't it? Can you imagine drawing such lifelike impression? No? Hehehe. No-lah, this isn't a drawing. This is a cafe near one of those interactive art. Looks like it doesn't open in the morning.

The Three Investigators

On my trip to Penang last month, I managed to read this book:

3 investigators

It jolted vague memories of me reading books from the series many decades ago and yet I don't recall Alfred Hitchcock's "guest-starring" character in any of them. Is he in every single Three Investigators book?

Yoko Kanno "Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex: Inner Universe"

This type of song is not my usual cup of tea but I absolutely love this particular song.

I'd Really Love To See You Tonight

Lyrics | Dan Seals lyrics - I'd Really Love To See You Tonight lyrics

Guns in US

Writer Peter Boyer (1999) describes how similar misperceptions of risk are fostered by the gun lobby in the United States, which tries to keep the public focused on vivid cases of "intruders" coming through the doors of households. The not-so-subtle subtext here is that you lower your risk by having a gun to protect yourself. Boyer (1999) points to the irony that the gun industry tries to focus attention on "guns in the hands of bad people" when the actual statistics show that the real problem is "guns in the hands of good people". Criminals do not account for most gun deaths in this country. There are actually more suicides with guns than there are homicides with guns. Most gun deaths are unintentional shooting and suicides - which is why research indicates that bringing a gun into a home actually increases family risk (Miller, Azrael, & Hemenway, 2002).

- How To Think Straight About Psychology by Keith E. Stanovich

Penang food in Penang

It had been years since I ate in Penang. In fact, if I discount that one plate of char kuay teow ("CKT") I had few years back when I was in transit, then the last time I had proper multiple food dishes in Penang was nearly a decade ago!

Kimberly St corner coffeeshop

Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the coffeeshop that served this delicious plate of chee cheong fan and aromatic thick coffee. It was a corner shop along Kimberly Street. The chee cheong fan, unlike the ones I had so far in my life, had prawn paste (used in rojak) as well as the normal sweet sauce.

Food and drink were great but what really made my morning was the people working at the shop. They were polite, humble and very helpful. I definitely want to be its regular customer :)

Penang famous CKT

This is the famous CKT that my family, especially my sister, rave about. We were asked whether we could wait for an hour for it @_@. It came after 45 mins. It is expensive, costing RM7.50 for the small plate. The plate above was RM9, I think, and it came with 5 big yummy prawns. Unfortunately, I did not share my family's enthusiasm for it. It was a little salty and oily for my liking. I can name 2 places in PJ/KL that serve better ones. Perhaps it was cooked by the lady's assistant? She has an assistant who doubled as chef as well.

The only variations you can have with your order is size and spicy/non-spicy. If you want to vary anything else (e.g. no beansprout), you will be asked to leave. Really, seriously. In fact, my father overheard the lady telling her worker to get rid of people asking for non-standard CKT.

I will give it a try again next time but hopefully will not need to wait that long.

Penang roti bakar_kukus

This small elongated coffeeshop in an alley is famous for its roti bakar. What I find interesting was that unlike other toasted bread served elsewhere, this one was lightly toasted and it was still soft within. However, I prefer its steam bread, which was even softer. Its half-boiled egg was so-so but it was the first time I had it in a cup, rather than in a saucer.

Total waiting time? Nearly an hour! I wouldn't do that again, especially since it's quite expensive.

Oh, do look at the device they use to toast and steam bread (on the right side of the photo above): at the bottom is where they toast the bread (someone is usually there, I supposed, to make sure it's lightly toasted) and the top half is where they steam bread inside (the other top half is hot water for coffee).

Penang Teochew chendol

What astounds me nowadays is that chendol almost everywhere has rough ice. It's difficult to get smoothly shaven ice chendol. Fortunately, it is not the same case for these Teochew chendol. I still don't know why it's called Teochew chendol and couldn't ascertain its distinctive feature. It had the right texture and taste.

My only complain is its inconsitent QC. In the above photo, the chendol at the top was served first while the bottom one was served later. Vast difference.

Case studies & testimonials

Instead, what is important is to understand the fact that Piaget's case studies did not prove anything but, rather, suggested incredibly fruitful areas for developmental psychologists to investigate.
The goal of experimental design is to structure events so that support of one particular explanation simultoneously disconfims other explanations.
Case studies and testimonials stand as isolated phenomena. They lack the comparative information necessary to prove that a particular theory or therapy is superior. It is, thus, wrong to cite a testimonial or a case study as support for a particular theory or therapy. Those who do so mislead the public if they do not point out that such evidence is open to a wide range of alternative explanations (emphasis mine). In short, the isolated demonstration of a phenomenon may be higly misleading. This point can be illustrated more specifically by the example of placebo effects.

- 'How To Think Straight About Psychology' by Keith E. Stanovich