Burger galore

Ban and I hadn't been to Johnny Rockets since our maiden trip to their outlet at The Curve until recently. We met some friends for lunch on a weekday and due to lack of sufficient seats at their first choice of venue, we ended up at Johnny Rockets outlet at Avenue K. Even so, it was crowded and thus service was a tad slow, I think.

I didn't take a photo as I was probably busy catching up with friends. Nevertheless, it was nothing to shout about. I remember having a burger and it was quite bad. It was dry and there was too much fries. Definitely not worth the price. Incidentally, everyone at the table agreed it wasn't worth it.

Also recently Ban and I brought his brother to have dinner at Plan B @Paradigm Mall after watching the movie Hobbits: Battle of the Five Armies. Here was what I had:

Plan B 9

Plan B 10

Sorry, I forgot to take note of the name of the burger I had. It was delicious, with quite generous portion of salad and appropriate amount of fries. It was expensive though.

Only complaint I had was that they provided the place mats which had their special menu only after they took our order. Ban's brother would have ordered from their special menu if that was presented together with the normal menu. We asked to change but it was too late because (apparently) they had starting cooking Ban's brother's order. That was an unsatisfactory response from them. Tsk tsk tsk.

Petrol Dec 14

Oh, the last update I posted was in Feb 14. It sure felt much longer than that :)

Petrol cost 25Dec14

Unlike previously, I combined all data because there were a few changes to the petrol price in the last 2 months that I forgot to keep track.

Going forward, there should be even more frequent changes to the price because starting 1 Dec this year, Malaysian government has removed petrol subsidy. It is still a controlled item though because they still determine the price on the 1st of each month by averaging the market price of the previous month.

I prefer to have the subsidy remained for reason I stated in a previous post. By amazing coincidence, the petrol price globally has dropped significantly (by almost half!) and so even though the subsidy is fully removed, the price didn't shoot up dramatically. Lucky government. On the other hand, their revenue has shrunk a lot.

Are they channeling the saving to good use? I very much doubt so. In fact, they are raising even more revenue with the implementation of GST in April next year. Yup, have to recoup all money spent (like water) during the last general election. Possibly trying to plug a black hole in the form of a rather dubious new sovereign fund.

Based on the graph above, looks like the average cost is about 15 cents per km. Please ignore the tail end spikes because twice I inadvertently didn't fill up to full tank. Gah.

Sushi Zanmai: Choco Banana Parfait

Yes, since the carrot debacle, I have been to Sushi Zanmai twice and nope, they didn't change the photo of the curry udon and I neither order it nor ask whether they now have carrot in it or not. Coincidentally, the waiter who apologised to me was nowhere to be seen. Hmmmm.

On the latest visit, I was quite famished after gym and so after wolfing down their Salmon Zanmai set, I decided to order their choco banana parfait (RM 15). I had it before and it was a little too rich for me. So much cream. Yet I ordered again this time :P

Sushi Zanmai 7

Sushi Zanmai 8

It is still too rich for me hahaha. Definitely more than negate my hour-long exercise at gym :P Oh well, I shouldn't order it in future, really. In fact, I think their wafer ice-cream (RM 8) is better.

Morning routine

Since I blogged about wanting to wake up earlier, I have been rather successfully waking up any time between 9am and 10am more regularly. Yay :)

I read an article on tips of how to get up in the morning. Ever since I started working nearly two decades ago, I always had a hard time waking up. Always felt drowsy and groggy. So these tips were intriguing.

There were 5 tips. I remember only 4 of them: 
(1) have something to look forward to do the next day, 
(2) drink a glass of water,
(3) brush teeth, and
(4) movement.

Re point (1), it is no wonder it was hard to wake up when I was working full time previously because, like most people, I didn't fancy going to work (do you?). Yes, I'm good at my work but not enthusiastic about it.

As for point (2), I have been drinking a glass of water every morning for sometime now. It was upon advice from an aunt for combating sinus. Incidentally, it does help with the morning sinus. The difference now is that that's the very first thing I do once I wake up. The theory is that our body is relatively dehydrated and thus quite weak when we first wake up.

The next thing I do is point (3). I guess doing points (2) and (3) contribute to point (4). I continue with washing face, shaving and fold blanket. 

Then I have a glass of soy milk with oat for breakfast while settling in front of my laptop. By then the drowsiness is gone. So yes, it works. Just need to make it a habit.

Hibiscus

I rarely have photos of nature. Probably because I rarely travel to new places. Dislike traveling :)

This hibiscus, however, was nearby and it looked so pretty that I had to photographed it.

Hibiscus 1

Hibiscus 2

Its back looks so different from the front, right? The difference in colour is quite stark.

Sushi Zanmai: see no carrot

Recently Ban and I had dinner at Sushi Zanmai at Paradigm Mall, a favourite restaurant of ours. We chose to dine there because Ban wanted to get a laptop cooling pad and I found out that there was a Thundermatch outlet at the mall.

We both nearly ordered the usual dish i.e. Salmon Zanmai but we decided to try something new, which is a good thing because we haven't been keeping up with the routine of trying new food every week on a consistent basis.

In the menu, I spotted curry udon with chicken and carrot as depicted in the photo. My stomach was good and it's been sometime since I had Japanese curry. So I ordered a small dish. Avoided the large portion in case I couldn't finish it and if the small one wasn't enough, I was prepared to order salmon sushi.

What they served was this:

Sushi Zanmai 3

Sushi Zanmai 4

Do you see any pieces of carrot? No, right?

I was quite miffed. I wouldn't have ordered it if there was no carrot in it. I decided to talk to a waiter.

Me: Does this normally have carrot? *pointed to the picture in the menu*

Waiter: No, it does not have carrot.

Me: Then this is misleading, isn't it? If I had known there was no carrot in it, I wouldn't have ordered.

Waiter: *dumbfounded*

Me (to Ban): I guess carrot must be very expensive. Maybe RM 10 per kg or something like that.

Another waiter came over and spoke quietly with the waiter to find out what was going on. Upon learning about my complaint, this other waiter offered to change the dish for another dish of my choice. I declined as I had eaten maybe 2 spoonful already and was trying to be fair to them although they were not being fair to me. "Very disappointing," I told him. He apologised and said would provide my feedback to the kitchen staff.

I thought that was the end of it. Despite the absence of carrot , the dish was quite good. The soup was not as thick as the usual curry udon and I prefer it this way. Its spiciness was mild and it was light in taste. The udon was smooth and not chewy.

To my surprise, the waiter came back and told me that the dish used to have carrot but later they changed the cooking process such that the carrot was dissolved in the soup. Dissolved?? Wow, mighty soup lol. Ban was very skeptical but I didn't want to kick any more fuss because I had said what I wanted to say already. I merely received the explanation but pointed that they then should change the picture in the menu as it was misleading. He apologised again.

I ordered 2 pieces of salmon sushi as the noodle portion turned out to be just short of what I needed. While waiting, we were given a surprise:

Sushi Zanmai 5

Sushi Zanmai 6

The waiter came back with this complimentary dessert and apologised once again, promising to be better next time (hopefully). I was pleasantly surprised and thanked him for the effort.

On hindsight, I was quite surprised at their reaction. The waiter apologised about 3 times and offered some sort of compensation twice after I rejected the first time. Either they never or very rarely receive negative feedback or I was fierce lol. Mind you, I wasn't shouting as I learned that that almost never achieve anything and it's destructive rather than constructive. Besides, I hate myself to loosing control and shouting. I kept the feedback as short as possible (but yes, I threw in a line of sarcasm) and straightforward. Their explanation (dissolved carrot!) is still dubious to me but kudos to them for trying to make amend.

The ice-cream was good. It wasn't very creamy, tasted of green tea but not bitter and most importantly not too sweet. The wafer was, however, soft.

Will I go there again? Yes, for sure since they have been good almost all the time. Will they change the picture in the menu? Highly doubt it and for sure I would not order it again until there's a change.

As an aside, yesterday Ban and I had dinner at Sushi Tei and I spotted a picture of their curry rice that had carrot and potato in it. Upon enquiry, it was confirmed that those were indeed in the dish. See? It's not that hard, is it?

Beautiful Kolam

Just realised that I have these photos that were meant to be posted months ago hehehe. Saw these beautiful kolams at Paradigm Mall during this year's Deepavali celebration...while rushing to gym hehehe.

Kolam 1

Kolam 2

Kolam 3

Kolam 4

Arata: a blip?

Ban and I are fond of the udon restaurant Arata. I love their udon, both dry and soup but I stay away from their hot green tea because they charge RM 3 for a cup that uses teabag. Too expensive. Other Japanese restaurants charge between RM 1 and RM 2.50 and not of the teabag variety.

One of my favourite combo is to order their dry udon that comes with okura (sliced lady's finger) and pieces of fried sweet tofu and I would choose char siu as topping. You can see the photo here in this post of the char siu that they typically serve.

As expected, the serving size of the char siu is different than that shown on their menu:

Arata 7

That's fine by me as the actual serving size is adequate for me and it's juicy and delicious...usually.

During a recent visit, this was what they served me:

Arata 8

Pathetic, right? Not only it was smaller than usual, it was dry and that crossed the line. I just had to give them feedback and I did overhear the waiter providing my feedback to the chef. This happened probably once or twice before. Well, hopefully they'll fix it and don't make it a habit.

Sushi Zanmai @Paradigm Mall

When I first started living in KL, I love dining at Sushi Zanmai at One Utama because of their Salmon Zanmai set. Later, however, I stopped going there since I discovered their portion to be significantly smaller than other restaurants.

So it heartens me that the same set at Paradigm Mall's outlet (newer mall) is better in size. Well, either that or other places have reduced their portion over the years :) Another good news is that Ban likes that set too and the bonus is that the serving is good enough for him that he normally doesn't need to order anything else. Yes, that means it's very filling for me.

Recently, while waiting for our sets to arrive, I spotted this sad-looking Inari on the conveyor belt:

Sushi Zanmai 1

It's possibly the smallest Inari I've seen. Ban pointed out that it was on the white plate and thus the cheapest (RM 1.80) but since other food on such plates were bigger, this stood out for its pathetic size.

When our sets arrived, I went looking for the smoked salmon. Ban and I usually exchanged his salmon belly sushi with my smoked salmon sushi as per our preference. Can you spot the latter in the picture below?

Sushi Zanmai 2

We couldn't find them and was wondering that on earth were those pale looking sushi? I tasted one and confirmed that they were smoked salmon - the palest smoked salmon I've ever seen. As William said, we hit the jackpot of having albino salmon :P

Morning

Gosh, I tried to find the post where I mentioned about waking early vs sleeping late but I couldn't find it.

I remember saying that I love waking up early because it's cool and I get so much done before lunch. That makes me feel productive and I can relax for the rest of the day :)

On the other hand, I also like sleeping late because it's cool and quiet. Also, if I play multiplayer online games, there will be more players as these games are dominated by Europeans and/or Americans.

Obviously I cannot do both because I still make sure I have 7.5 hours of sleep. So I decided to wake up early because of one critical factor: health. Wake up early/sleeping early reduces incidence of sinus and irritable bowel/stomach significantly. Also, this negate the need to have second supper (as I sometimes need to do if I sleep late).

How early? About 9 am hehehe. So I try to sleep by 1 am.

On a related matter, it's the monsoon season and it has been raining, usually heavily, almost everyday and thus rendering the pool too cold to swim. So as alternative, I either brisk walk on the treadmill or do yoga.