Monday, January 31, 2011

Maze by Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel, Manhattan.

It is Restaurant Week in New York (January 24th till February 6th). What is Restaurant Week you may ask? It's an occasion that happens twice annually, where participating restaurants, usually mid to high class, lower their prices to a standard price for the given time period. This Winter's Restaurant Week prices are $24.07 for Lunch and $35 for Dinner.

For this event, I've chosen to dine at my culinary idol's participating restaurant. The Maze by Gordon Ramsay is located at the London Hotel between 6th and 7th Ave, 54th Street in Manhattan. The 'screaming chef' is highly noted for his exceptionally exquisite dishes, as well as being the star of the  TV series, Hell's Kitchen. Gordon Ramsay has earned 12 Michelin Stars over the years, placing him the world's 2nd for most Stars.

Up ahead are ALL of the dishes offered for the Restaurant Week event. Get ready for some food porn!
Photo credits to Alvin


Lightly salted '???' Bread with butter.

Not bad really, beats any bakery near me, that's for sure. It also goes well with the squash soup further down this post. (They provided 12 slices for my table)

Hubbard squash soup,
ragout of braised duck, black truffle

This, I would say is probably the best dish I've ever tasted in my life. The squash soup was seasoned perfectly. And in addition to that, the hints of spiciness in the soup worked really well with the braised duck and truffle. The duck, honestly, blew me away. It was simply immaculate. The combination of the two ingredients made this dish fit for a king. Tres Magnifique.
Marinated beetroot, ricotta, pine nuts,
Cabernet Sauvignon dressing

This sweet, yet sour creamy goodness was the prettiest of the dishes we had. The beetroot provided the sour delight, the ricotta changes the acidity to a nice gentle sweetness from heaven before the dressing kicks in for the wine aftertaste. I'm not much of a fan of the taste of wine, but this was an exception. It lifts the flavor.

Butter lettuce salad with Pommery mustard vinaigrette
tarragon, pickled red onions

I did not sample this dish. Sorry, was too busy 'gluttonizing' on my squash soup. What I'm assuming though, would be that it'll be pretty acidic, obviously due to the vinaigrette and pickled red onions.
Roasted Amish chicken breast,
braised red cabbage, bacon, thyme jus

The Amish chicken, oh my god, the chicken! It melts in your mouth with it's juiciness engulfing your pallets with its spot-on seasoning. The best chicken I've ever had! All those Peking Chickens in those fancy restaurants around here or in Malaysia's 5 star hotels rate no where close to this. It's an experience I can't describe since I only sampled a small amount from a friend. I did not have enough to fully analyze it. But I tell you this, there is no need to analyze, it's flawless.. This chicken's life was definitely not wasted. =)

Classic bouillabaisse Marseilles
with fennel garlic crouton and sauce rouille

The bouillabaisse may be the entree with the least portion, but this seafood delight is packed with absolute flavor. The gravy is infused with the taste of mussel and clam, and that my friends, is the key to this dish being as delicious it is. See, it's not all about having 10, 20 fancy ingredients in efforts to make it taste good, but giving the main ingredients its say on your tongue is perhaps best.
Aged 10 oz. rib eye, sautéed broccoli rabe, country bread

 This beats Applebee's 50:1! I don't know what's in that sauce, but it's minty and yummy. The mid-rare steak cuts as smooth as butter, or a little rougher, but smooth nonetheless. The bread is lightly salted, and could be applied with optional butter, but it being so good, it deserves the 'You can even eat it on it's own' title, and not Gardenia. The broccoli is salted with what seems to taste like salted fish. Not sure if it is, but it does taste like it. Anyways, the steak was tender, juicy, and well seasoned.
Carnaroli risotto of sunchoke,
Honshimeji mushrooms and mascarpone

My risotto! Reason why I chose this was because I simply never had a risotto. It's a famous dish that's always cooked up in Hell's Kitchen, and I'd like to have tasted it, which I did. It's a creamy dish. The rice was interesting, I love it's texture. It has a little crunch, a feedback, but not undercooked. The mushrooms don't really compliment the rice as I hoped it would, but it went well with the cheese topping. It's an overall good dish, but I prefer the Amish chicken though. =)

Valrhona chocolate fondant with green cardamom caramel
sea salt and almond ice cream

Now, 5/6 of the party ordered this for dessert, including me. There's only 2 choices, and majority chose the fondant because it sounds more attractive. Seriously, would you go for Custard, or a Fondant(pronounced Fon-Dohn, with a Frenchy accent)? Fondant sounds high class, even though the dish is somewhat a souffle. But in my opinion, the dessert started off delicious, the sea salted almond ice cream was exquisite. The chocolate fondant however, it started off great, but down at the bottom consists of the green cardamom caramel, which is gingery, and I don't really like ginger. So, sadly to say, that was a turn off for me.

 Vanilla custard with citrus fruits
brown sugar oats and mandarin sorbet

Ah yes, the word which lost to the fondant, the custard. I should have chose this. I sampled it, and the  sweet and acidic mix of the custard and sorbet went incredibly well together. The nuts were somewhat hard (That's what she said!) according to my cousin, Alvin. But everything else complimented each other well.

Bill for 6

Final Say
"Orgasmic!" 9/10

"Look at Chester, he looks like he's about to cry," Ryan Chong, after I had my first spoon of squash soup.

Food for thought - Morning breath

According to sources, morning breath is caused by millions of bacteria eating the dead cells in our mouth.

Does that mean that morning breath is the smell of death?

Think about it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

4 Things good about handphone cameras.

Well BBoyrice told me to start shooting people and objects with my 50mm 1.8
and I would agree that I don't use it as much as I hoped I would.

So this CNY, I shall only use the 50mm for candid and people and objects.
Wish me luck and all.
Shall post the pics up when I am done with it.

Anyways, back to the topic then. These days where everyone seem to own at least a digital camera, the handphone camera is pretty neglected.
It is pretty understandable since digicams are sharper, faster, more options and all.
Just be aware that phones these days have pretty cool camera apps that would give you a little more options to shoot with.

These pictures were all taken from my phone with different effects. I think its a lomo app. Not very sure but here is why you should play around with it

  • The limited space for the picture forces you to decide on what to snap as your subject. So you would learn how to compose pictures.
  • The different effects gives more expressions to the pictures. Even the simple black and white would give it certain pictures more emotions.
  • It is faster and more convenient than pulling out the camera at times. 
  • Way way cheaper than buying a camera or a lomo. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

My transition/ photo gray lenses review.

Recently I changed my spectacle lens as it was a while back when I changed it and well, I kinda chipped it but that ain't the case.
Anyways since I suffer from astigmatism, which means - any form of light glare, I would feel it more and I would squint more.

So, after wearing transition lenses for about a week, in tropical weather, in blazing under the sun conditions,
what do I think of it?

Here's what I think is good about it.

  • Its less painful on the eyes
  • Its pretty handy to reduce squinting
  • Don't really need to change between shades and glasses
  • Because the change is pretty slow at times, you wont notice the change. 
But here is what I don't like about it
  • Doesn't change as fast as I want it to be, it takes about 30seconds to a minute before it starts to change color.
  • Its super overpriced. Unless you know the owner of the shop or there is some massive discount, on usual days, its bloody expensive.
  • It doesn't work when under a shade. Which totally sucks for drivers like me. My best solution, I have this cheap shades which cups on perfectly over my specs. Doesn't fit closely but doesn't fall off as well. Still does whats its made for. 
My view for it is, transition lenses are for "lazy" people. Instead of getting a pair of shades with power or getting a pair of contact lenses, which I have a pair btw, just not very into the whole eye poking thing, a transition user would just walk around in the sun hoping and waiting for the lens to change color. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My iPod Shuffle 4th Generation Review.

I got my hands on the Apple iPod Shuffle 4th Gen. recently and at the first glance I thought it was a joke.
Since it looked exactly like the 2nd Gen. one, till I checked the Apple website to confirm.

It makes sense really. Look at the iPhone as well, a slight upgrade and they call it a new model.
Exactly like how car makers add little details on cars and call it a facelift, then charge more for it.

See that little middle button at the top? Thats new. 

So after fumbling around with it, I decided to test it out with the Sennheiser headphones I got. Since certain mp3s and phones tend to be a little underpowered with headphones.
I will admit, I was really surprised.
The sound driver on the Shuffle is pretty powerful thus being able to deliver quite a punch on my headphones. Sadly tho, there ain't anything new with the Shuffle besides having the Voice Over feature. The design of the Shuffle is still pretty easy to use but then its still pretty easy to press the wrong button.

I rate thee - 7/10

Having a Shuffle is good at times but lacking the ability to choose songs does suck.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

6 ways to keeping your laptop from overheating.

These days, especially in college, almost everyone owns a laptop if not a desktop. Problem is most of the time I see people doing this that really makes me wonder.
If people worry so much about their laptops being hot, then I don't get why they do certain things to make it heat up faster.

  1. Most popular NO NO, don't place your laptop on top of the laptop sleeve. I see loads of people doing this and I do wonder why they do it. If you have noticed, most of the air vents are under the laptop, so why reduce the amount of cool air going in by obstructing it? 
  2. Gaming on the bed. This may not be in college but I still see it. Its almost the same as the first but games tend to heat the laptop up much much faster. If you really want to play it on the bed, get something to hold it up like a laptop fan or a file to elevate it.
  3. Use a laptop cooler if you you would like to keep the laptop cool and if possible try to align the fans under an air vent opening. So it will force more cool air into the laptop to cool it down. 
  4. Switch the Power Management to Balanced, Power Saver, (brand) Recommended. As the High Performance option would only put everything in maximum performance even if you are just web surfing. Whenever gaming or editing things, you can just switch it back. 
  5. Maintenance of the laptop fan. Sometimes if gets pretty dusty and that might clog up the fan or the vent out. So just clean it once in a while or keep an eye out for it. 
  6. This might be a little off but it works as well, using the laptop is a cool area such an in an aircond room. XD Makes perfect sense. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Sennheiser HD 428 user review.

Out of the many options for quality of sound, there are plenty to choose from but this time I went with the HD428. I met it at the Bangkok international airport and sorta fell in love with it on the spot.

  • Sound clarity. I know people may argue about this but for the price that I payed for, I find it very good. The highs and lows are heard. Little details can heard instead without the blasting of the volume.
  • Comfort. Having the headphones fully covering the ears plus having them fit snugly makes you feel as if it was made specially for you. The padding is soft and I barely notice wearing it after a while. It also cancels out sounds pretty well, not around loud people that is. 
  • Cord length and additional jack. The long cable provided is longer than I need and the option of connecting it into a 6.3mm jack is likable. It is also only on the left side, more freedom. 
  • Design is fairly simple and the cross-hair adds a little bit more spunk into the design. All else, fairly simple. Minimalistic.  
  • Built. Eventhough plastic, it doesn't feel flimsy and the cushion feel durable. Hopefully. Just don't be too rough with it and all should be good. 
  • Thin cable. The cord is slightly thinner than expected. In many reviews, this is one of the main few complaints. 
  • A little warm. Wearing it in air conditioned rooms are fine but when in normal tropical room temperature, about 45 min later your ears would be feeling warm. Still better than the AVF headphones I have at home, 15 min in and  I would sweat around my ears. 
  • Lack of bass. It is a little bit on the weaker side but I still feel it rumbling away. Definitely not for those heavy bass people. 

My Thoughts
Personally, I love how it feels and fits so well around my head. I like how Sennheiser managed to put hinges on it so that the cups would follow the angle of the head instead of just sitting on it. Last comment, I like it, sounds good. 

I rate thee

Monday, January 10, 2011

Laser Tag with Advertlets Bloggers.

Before the meet up, personally even I didn't know that there was a laser tag venue in Midvalley.
The only one I used to know of was in Mines and I'm not even sure whether that one is still open.

Everyone with a Rames pose.

Anyways, last Saturday, Advertlets invited about 30+ bloggers to Galactic Laser in MV and let me just tell you, it was totally awesome!
What is laser tag? It is similar to paintball but instead of the pain and paint, you will shoot lasers instead. Everyone wears this high tech looking body piece fitted with sensors and LED lights to tell people and you when you have been 'shot'. You also hold this laser gun which turns into a sub machine gun after certain amounts of kills. Everything is wired up to this computer so after the game, you will be able to check your score.

During briefing

It is well suited for a wider variety of people as there is practically no pain involved and well if you are lazy to run around, you can just sit in a spot waiting for a victim to run past. I'm sure even the older crowds would have fun playing it. Plus, Galactic Laser have packages for groups which means maybe a play day for companies trying to treat their employees?

The body gear

Galactic Laser offers a wide variety of game play from Free For All (everyone is a target), Anything else, it would be best to experience it yourself. If you need more information, check out

 Told you there are scores.
Guess who the top scorer was? 

Coincidentally the event fell on the same day as my birthday!
and I must say, it was a pretty good way to spend my day. Plus bloggers are probably the nicest people around. They sang me a birthday song sumore. Aww so nice of them kan?

The winning team and I'm in it!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Leaving the teens, on record that is.

Well I just turned 20 and eventhough people keep telling me that I have left my teens and into adulthood,
I'm pretty sure I would still stay a kid by heart.

I would like to thank everyone who wished me on facebook, who sms-ed me, who called me, who emailed me, who wished me personally and who sang me a birthday song. Also to those who wanted to wish me but forgot after some distractions. Its the thought that counts and I am truly touched.

There wasn't anything big this year but still it was a blast.
Started with my childhood friend making me breakfast. Her first time cooking and she gives it to me.
Then I had a blast playing Laser Tag with a big bunch of Advertlets bloggers! Had loads of fun running and shooting plus meeting a few new people.
Last but not least, had dinner with my family and had a little cake.
I am thankful for what I have.

**Tomorrow will post the pics up from laser tag and maybe the post on the place.
Have a nice day all

Friday, January 7, 2011

Drifting on water. Hydroplaning

When I was younger I always loved the thought of driving over puddles of water. I mean EVERY puddle of water. Just to make that huge splash flying in every directions.
Everything changed after I got my license. I was driving down the highway and it was raining and I went over a puddle. It was exactly like the car had a mind of its own. The speed meter and RPM meter just rose and the car shuddered. Luckily it was a straight and just a small puddle and before I knew it the tires caught the road again, the car shook, and I was back on my way.
What I experienced was hydroplaning and not many people seem to know so here is a short description of what it is

  • Hydroplaning or aquaplaning happens when the tires of a vehicle lose traction on a wet roadway, causing the car to drift like a sled until the wheels gain traction again. As one might imagine, hydroplaning is extremely dangerous, since the vehicle is out of the driver's control while it slides. During rainy or slushy weather, drivers need to be aware of the risk of hydroplaning, and it is important to drive carefully in these conditions to avoid this dangerous driving situation. There are also some vehicle maintenance tips which can reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
I know this sounds like a mother nagging but please drive slow and safe. Cause I tried it and God it scared the hell out of me. 

Currently thinking of what to write for my Bangkok trip.
Have fun all. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just wear that seat belt.

I don't know why people don't wear their seat belts.
They paid for it when buying the car, why not use it?
I have heard friends saying that it is restrictive, well that is what it is suppose to do.
To stop you from flying out the windscreen or slamming your head into the steering wheel.

I think is advert is very well made. Nothing gory or violent.

Treasure life as accidents are unpredictable.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Another 8765 hours

Well again Happy New Year everyone!

Another year passes and more reminiscing have been done.
So much has passed again and so much experiences I have learnt.
More knowledge gained, although not all good.
Hopefully with 2010 over, most of my problems would have followed it.
Still with having so much experiences, some have left deeper scars than others.
Hoping to move on and forget the scars.
New resolutions, new hopes, new dreams.

I would have a toast with you readers but since I can't do that, here is a virtual one.
*toast* To a great year ahead with much success!
Happy New Year

Yee Jin Lim