Sunday, April 25, 2010

Of nasi pedas, tipat and hating vegetables

I'm at my Third Place again. Leaving for Bali in about 2 hours. There is a Venti Espresso and Cream Frappuccino (nothing beats sipping a Frappuccino early in the morning!) on my table and beside it, is Grandma's Apple Pie. Well, not my actual grandma's of course :P

I like Bali. I like it a lot. I'm sure Jason would disapprove. Hehe....Jason is one of my colleagues and I guess he hadn't had a good experience in the Island of the Gods yet. Speaking of which, I should really get him that I Love Bali tee. :P

As always, I make it a point to try out local dishes wherever I go. It often adds a plus point to my destinations :)

My mom loves spicy food, so when we were told during our trip that there's a famous spicy rice dish in Bali called Nasi Pedas, we knew she must try it! And boy did she love it!! You see, there's been other told-to-be-spicy dishes in Bali that she has tried, but none is as spicy as she likes them to be. So, with this Nasi Pedas, my mom has finally met her match! Seduced by curiosity (as opposed to by my fondness of spicy food), I, on trips I made later, tried it myself. And yes it is AWESOME! Okay, granted that I had just a tiny bit of sambal, but side dishes offered are cooked spicy anyway, so there's really no escaping the spiciness. Behind all the hotness, there's a taste that is too delicious to describe. Especially if you get those crispy small fish. YUM!! So, let it be known that if you're ever in Bali, you should never leave without having at least one helping of the heavenly-spicy Nasi Pedas. And if you think "No thank you, I cannot take spicy stuff", guess what? So can't I. You gotta try it, still.

And if you find the urge to chicken out too hard to defy, then I have something else for you. It's called Tipat (am not entirely sure how to spell it but that's how it sound like when they say it). It's very similar to Nasi Himpit or Ketupat. This dish is a mixture of cube rice, bean sprouts and long beans - all wonderfully covered in a creamy n spicy (or lightly spicy - customized to your liking, you chickens! LOL!) peanut sauce, which is hand-made fresh, right before your eyes! It is fantastic!! It's munching-on-the-bean-sprouts-and-long beans good!!! And if you know me at all, you'd know that that's bad for me! Haha!!!

So yeah, I hate vegetables. I have been for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure why, but I just can't agree with the taste. Especially those with stems. Top hate items are carrots, tomatoes, celery. Urghh! But there are exceptions. I can generally take in those that are crushed or mushed beyond recognition such as Kangkung Belacan or any other strictly leafy vege variations. That or anything drenched with peanut sauce, vinaigrette or other tasty dressing (honey mustard sauce also comes to mind). Ooh there's another exception - Popiah. That, I like! :)

I'll be in Bali over the next 5 days and am looking forward to enjoy the 2 amazing must-haves there.

Care to join me?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Summary of 2009 movies - Quarter 2

Last December, I posted movies I saw between January - March 2009. So here's the second installment

Quarter 2 - April to June:

1. Fast & Furious 4 - I enjoyed this 4th installment of the movie franchise the most. It felt like it had more guts to it. Too bad Michelle Rodriguez's character had to die. But still, I liked it so much I saw it twice :)

2. Confessions of a Shopaholic - Isla Fisher is really sweet! I was smitten after I saw her in Definitely Maybe and she was pretty good in this one too. Loved the credit card-buried-in-ice breaking moment!

3. Talentime - I saw this movie at MBO with Wan and it was such a tear-jerker! It's a wonderfully-lovely story! Funniest moment was when Azian Irdawati's character joked "I won't lose hair over it" in response to something her son said. She had chemo and she's almost bald for it! I laughed pretty loud :P

4. Knowing - This was a cool movie and I loved the effects. It was a little creepy too, what with the young girl hiding in the cupboard, scratching the wooden door with her nails. But I can't seem to remember how it ended. Hmm...time to get the dvd. Hehe.
5. Paul Blart Mall Cop - Hmmm.........this one wasn't that good. It had some funny scenes but that was it. Nothing memorable. Not deserving of the RM9 I paid for.

6. Queens of Langkasuka - I don't watch foreign movies often. This one had some cool action scenes, so it wasn't too bad. Overall, just average though.

7. Passengers - I love Anne Hathaway! She was brilliant in Bride Wars, which I picked as one of my top 3 movies for Q1. She plays a totally different type of character in this one. A therapist. A confused one. A dead one. I liked the movie, it has the Sixth Sense kinda twist. Nice.

8. Crossing Over - I went into this one with a high hope. I mean it was Harrison Ford and Ashley Judd so yeah, I was pretty sure that it would be really good, but came out rather disappointed. I did love the premise of the movie; about people getting in / out of the U.S. illegally, how they're tracked and caught and stuff, and of course the emotional factors involved with risking your life for better living. All in all, average.

9. He's Just Not That Into You - Loved it!!! Great actors and story and it proved what I've been saying all along - we, the guys, are straight-forward. If we like something, we'll say we like it. And if we like something strong enough, we'll do whatever we need to have it. Therefore, if we didn't say we like it, please don't assume that we do and that we're just too shy to admit it. If we want to call you, we'd call you. If we don't, it's because we don't want to call. See. Mixed signals my ass. Oops.

10. Make It Happen - Boy this one was fun! Mary Elizabeth Winstead was awesome!!!!! Loved the performance scenes!! It was so good it left me wanting more!!! Definitely a favorite!!

11. X Men Origins: Wolverine - This movie did not live up to my expectations, and I loved all the other X Men movies but this one had a different feel to it. Thank god for the last few fight scenes though, my favorite is the one that took place on top of the nuclear plant structure. Simply awesome!! I hope the next origin movie would feature more of gambit in action. Hmmm.....I just realized I saw this movie twice. I can't remember why. maybe it was a slow week at the movies. hehehehe....

12. Star Trek - Easily one of the best movie of 2009!!!! When I heard that J.J. Abrams was on the director's seat I knew it would be a renewed legacy. And it surely delivers!! It made Star Trek cool again!! It also have a good score, very stylish. Stylishly Star Trek. Many goosebumps moment! Sequels please!! And yes, I saw this movie twice, no surprise there.

13. Angels & Demons - Up to this day, I still haven't seen The Da Vinci Code, but I enjoyed this movie. Ewan McGregor almost stole the show from right under Tom Hanks's nose. Loved the twist and ending bit. Really thought he was the world's saviour for a moment there.

12. I Love You, Man - I have said before that Paul Rudd might just be the next big thing in the comedy line, and he was excellent in this one, but his career isn't exactly as big as I thought it would be by now. Too bad. But then it's only April :)

13. Push - I was really psyched to see Dakota Fanning all grown up and dark in this one. She was good, but the character wasn't big enough. Saw it once in the movie, bought the dvd, haven't put it on. Overall, pretty good, but no memorable lines / scenes.

14. Night At The Museum - I thought the first one was so-so, and I liked this one more than the first. Possibly because of Amy Adams. or the thinking man. Hmmm...........which one is it? Hmmm.....I'm thinking...................................................I'm thinking............................. LOL!!

15. Battle For Terra - This was a must-see for me because its poster looked a bit like Star Wars animated series. And the story turned out to be pretty good. Cool action too. but no light saber action. Crap. Hehe...

16. Monsters vs Aliens - This one was lame. Seriously, it was. Wasn't really funny, wasn't full of action, wasn't this, wasn't that. And I had high hopes going in. The only saving grace was Bob. he was the only one with the funny lines. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save the movie. Thumbs down on this one!

17. T4 - Christian Bale. Bigger and cooler robots. Sam Worthington. Moto-Terminators. What's not to like? I saw it twice. Nuff said. :P

18. Drag Me To Hell - Sam Raimi is back at his best!! Sylvia Ganush sent shivers to my spine!! I mean even the handkerchief is scary shit alright!! Loved every bit of it!! More please Mr Raimi!!! Definitely a favorite!!

19. State Of Play - Average. Dun have much to say for this one, except, I might have gotten played. Hehehe.

20. Blood - This one's pretty good. it's got gore, blood, sword action, all the recipe of a cool action movie. With action scenes like this, who cares about a storyline? :)

21. Transformers ROTF - Out of all the movies I saw in 2009, nothing could match the level of anticipation, enthusiasm and high hopes I had for this movie. I even held a countdown on Facebook about a few weeks before it opens at the movies! And I bought Transformers t-shirts. Like 5 of them! And they're all cool!! I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I think it kicked ass! if I could change anything though, I would take out some of those stupid unfunny lines uttered by the autobot twins. Wasn't impressed at all. But hey, the rest was awesome, so all is forgiven! Oh yeah, I even bought the official prequel book to ROTF and I read it from cover to cover. If that ain't passion I dun know what is!!! :P Top pick!!

Gosh...................quarter 2 sure had the most number of movies of all the quarters in 2009.

My top 3 pick? Transformers ROTF, Talentime and Star Trek!