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Uber Malaysia Launches Momentum Partner Driver Rewards Program

I think by now, most people in Klang Valley (and many other cities in the world of course) would have heard of Uber, the world’s leading on demand transportation platform. I’m a personally a huge fan of Uber and rely on it heavily for my daily transport needs. It’s pretty much a lifesaver because of the state of the taxi system in Malaysia (don’t have to go into details here right?). Plus, I love the cashless transaction, the cleanliness of the vehicles and the politeness of the drivers.

But today we are not just talking about the good things for the consumers, Uber has also launched a Partner Driver Rewards Program called Momentum that will deliver meaningful business and lifestyle rewards to our driver partners.

As Uber empowers individuals to become entrepreneurs, Momentum is aimed at furthering that mission by lowering operating costs for driver partners; giving driver partners access to lifestyle rewards; up-skilling the industry with academic opportunities; and creating a supportive community amongst driver partners.

Momentum is a global program that has proven widely successful in the US and UK by generating significant rewards and savings for driver partners, and now Uber is introducing Momentum to Asia, starting with Malaysia.

JJ from Red FM doing his welcoming remarks.

Uber Malaysia introduces Momentum to encourage more Malaysians to take charge of their lives, their careers and #rideinthefrontseat with them. The impact of Momentum will be 100% local; Momentum will help accelerate Malaysian jobs and income growth by increasing activity on the Uber platform, decrease operating expenses of Malaysian small businesses, and bring more business to Malaysian rewards partners.

The rewards of Momentum were designed based on feedback from thousands of driver partners across the nation as they identified their biggest needs as entrepreneurs on the Uber platform.

Ashok, a Malaysia-based Uber driver partner said, “I am delighted that Momentum is launching in Malaysia. As a professional driver, the cost of running my car is my biggest expense, so it’s great I can now save money on essential maintenance. The lifestyle perks are also a fantastic edition to the programme and I am excited to see what other rewards Uber will add in the future.”

Starting 1st July 2015, all Uber driver partners in Malaysia will have access to Phase One of the following rewards in the form of large discounts and cash vouchers, across participating outlets in Klang Valley, Johor Bahru and Penang.

Chan Park, General Manager for Uber in SEA.

Speaking at the launch, Chan Park, General Manager, South East Asia, Uber reiterated, “Our driver partner community is a critical part of our business, and the key to our ongoing success. Momentum is about enhancing their experience when driving on the Uber platform and we are delighted to be able to give something back to them through these fantastic rewards. The partnerships formed with these select organisations are designed to provide our driver community with the things they want most.”

Uber Team with their partner drivers and their Momentum Rewards Partners

Some of the Momentum Rewards Partners including Lazada, Happyfresh, Lim Tayar, Zalora etc.

Momentum is designed to lower business costs for driver partners. Added lifestyle rewards also help reduce living costs, and increase savings. For Momentum rewards partners, the growing number of Uber driver partners daily will generate additional sustained income. With Momentum, driving on the Uber platform becomes an increasingly desirable opportunity for anyone with some free time and the desire to serve the local community, giving the Malaysian workforce the option for an alternative income stream, and increased economic spending power.

Momentum Malaysia, is also a programme designed to upskill driver partners. These partners can learn how to better manage their capital and operational costs, reduce maintenance expenses, increase asset utilization using smart technology all while being rewarded for exceptional performances via a badges programme.

Leon Fong, General Manager of Uber Malaysia.

Speaking at the event, Leon Foong, General Manager, Kuala Lumpur, Uber said,

“Uber Malaysia is focused on creating economic value by providing desirable opportunities to all Malaysians and upskilling them so that they can move up the value chain. It’s now in their hands to take charge of this opportunity, and truly drive in the front seat of their lives.”

Momentum is bringing driver partners together through a dedicated read-only, dual language smartphone app as well as an online website which highlights fellow driver partners, and brings more information to aid Uber driver partners in becoming better service providers.

Thousands of Malaysians already drive on the Uber platform. With Momentum in the picture, driving on Uber has never been more rewarding. If you’re interested in becoming part of the family, visit partners.uber.com.
Come #RideInTheFrontSeat with Uber!

And for the riders, from now until 30th June you can use the promo code #MyUberRamadan to enjoy free rides between 4pm to 9pm daily (to the value of RM25). Never a better time to try this fabulous service!

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Tales of Nusantara Buffet at Essence, Sheraton Imperial KL

The Ramadhan month is officially here! First of all I want to wish all Muslim friends who are fasting “Selamat Berpuasa”, and non-muslim friends to practise extra sensitivity during this holy month. And I’ll be looking forward to visiting the Ramadhan bazaars, can’t wait! Anyway, here’s the last of the Ramadhan buffet series from me, and this is another buffet restaurant that I’ve been to way more than once: Essence at Sheraton Imperial KL.

If you want to treat your family and friends to a buka puasa event with a difference, this is it. This year, Essence is bringing the “Tales of Nusantara” experience to you, where you can find your favourite Ramadhan delights at a collection of stalls and live cooking stations with each traditionally decorated to its food origins.

During the media preview, we were definitely taken on a journey with more than 200 mouth-watering specialties from a variety of cuisines. I shall start with the local delights here:

So many interesting kerabus and appetisers, needless to say we were spoilt for choice.

There are more to the cold sections:

Of course, let’s zoom in the prawns.

Yum!

More prawns is always good.

All matters of fried food available too, such as these:

As well as fried noodles

One of the live cooking stations is Tandoori, which they do quite well here.

Which you can pair with your choice of gluten:

Such as these naan bread.

Heavily spiced dishes are of course amongst the most popular.

Okra, which is my favourite.

Singapore Chili Crabs

In fact, just pick your protein! Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Prawns, Fish; you name it, they have it.

Happy to see these beautiful Roti Jala, pairing perfectly with the curries.

Want a bit of textural contrast? Have the keropok.

This time, the centre piece is the famous Essence’s Whole Baby Lamb with Mandi Rice.

And next to it, the Baked Whole Sea Bass Bumbu Bali (this was really good)

I tried to colour correct, but sorry for the weird hue.

Moving on, more Chinese dishes:

Roast Duck

Including a noodle station where you get to choose your toppings and noodles. Nyonya Curry Laksa comes highly recommended.

Of course, there are non-local dishes too, and my favourite would have to be the Moussaka.

If there are still space in your tummy, go for their amazing dessert spread.

The Malay Kuehs

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And all matters of sweet treats.

The Buffet is priced at RM 138 nett per person with an early bird promotion priced at RM 90 nett until the 17th of June. It is available for dinner only from 18th of June until the 16th of July. Kids below 4 years old eat for free and kids from 4 to 12 years old will received 50% off.

If you are staying with us a like to have your sahur in room, you will be able to choose from 3 different set menus which includes favorites such as Braised local catfish with chilli paddy in coconut milk, River patin fish cooked with coconut and “pegaga leaf”, Oxtail soup with potato and carrot and many more. Deliver to your room for just RM 52nett.

For those who prefer to break-fast at home, we recommend you to indulge in the fragrant Ramadan Mandi Rice special, available for take away at Toastina Café & Bar from 18th of June until the 16th of July. Priced at RM15nett per person, the Mandi Rice will be available for sale from 4pm until 6pm.

Wait no longer! Go ahead and plan your Ramadan gathering with your loved ones today at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel’s Essence restaurant. For reservations, call 03 2717 9933 or email to restaurants.imperial@sheraton.com to book your seats today or log on to http://www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com to find out more.

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Selera Malaysia Ramadhan Buffet @ Gobo Chit Chat, Traders Hotel

In conjunction with the Holy month, GOBO Chit Chat at Traders Hotel is taking you on a gastronomic journey with their Selera Malaysia Buffet Promotion. From 18th June 2015 til 16 July 2015, come and enjoy the feast with your friends, family or colleagues. I’ve blogged about GOBO Chit Chat numerous times and needless to say I always enjoy my time at Traders thanks to their warm hospitality.

Let’s go on with the food then. There are a few highlights of the buffet and first, of course, being the cold seafood selections:

An array of fresh seafood to tantalise your tastebud.

Alongside the seafood there are also a huge selection of kerabus (salads).

Kerabus

Of course, I always dive head straight to the sashimi first. Fresh and definitely hit the spot.

Onto the fresh Sashimi, hands down my favourite of the buffet.

Some sushi won’t hurt either.

There are a few other Japanese dishes including Chicken Karaage, and these good looking tempura.

Tempura

My second favourite of the buffet would have to be these glorious looking marinated seafood, ready for the grill. Just take your pick of protein and wait for them to cook for you on the spot.

Grill section

Next are the wide range of curries:

I found my guilty pleasure too, in the form of Lo Mai Kai.

Lo Mai Kai

The centrepiece at a Ramadhan buffet is usually a large piece of roast meat of sort, and in this case, Roast lamb Leg, on a bed of Nasi Biryani.

Roasted Lamb Leg with Nasi Briyani

Some of the western dishes available, although I didn’t really touch them because I wanted to save my tummy space for the local dishes.

And if you have a thing for traditional sweet drinks, the station is here:

Some of the things we tried:

Cold plate, of course I loaded up on the Salmon.

Main dishes

Quite a decent, comforting bowl of Sup tulang

Grilled seafood, really fresh prawns and fish, rather satisfying.

Sotong Kangkung… with a nice kick and lovely balanced flavours

I forgot to snap the pictures of the Butter Milk Crabs and Chili Crabs, but needless to say, they are super popular. But of course, GOBO Chit Chat always does seafood well, so there is no surprise here.

For desserts, they have the local delights like Pisang Goreng, Pulut Durian, Ice Kachang; and Western desserts like Blueberry Cheese Cake, Raspberry Jelly, Coconut Layer Cake, Tiramisu and many more. Most are good, but what really got me was this:

Pengat Pisang… so good!

I always have a thing for banana related desserts, so this was definitely my favourite of the night. Might have made some obscene noises while consuming it.

The Selera Malaysia Ramadan Buffet 2015 is priced at RM 119 nett for adult from 18th to 21st June 2015 and at RM 129 nett for adult from 22nd June till 16th July 2015.

Those who wish to come in groups are encouraged to take note of the 6+1 promotion which will run throughout Ramadan.

For every group of six persons, one dines for FREE. You can make your reservation by calling 03-2332 9888.

GOBO Chit Chat
5th Floor
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2332 9888

Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/kualalumpur/traders
http://www.shangri-la.com/en/traders/

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Chef’s A-List Malaysian Feast, Nook Aloft Kuala Lumpur

Brace yourself for the influx of Ramadhan buffet reviews as it is the time of the year again. I’m going to kick off the first of the series with one of my favourite hotels in KL, Aloft Kuala Lumpur. I’ve written about Nook quite a few times (here, here, and here) and generally the dining experiences here have been good. This time it’s no exception.

During the Ramadhan month, Nook will feature local Malay delicacies, succulent barbecue, seafood delights and juicy roasted whole lamb, and the menu was crafted by Chef Adri with his team. There are some of his star dishes such as Stuffed Whole Lamb Kuzi served with Nasi Briyani, Beef Shin Rendang, Sambal Udang Petai, Nook’s steamed chicken rice with condiments, Turmeric Nasi Lemak, Sarawak Laksa and not forgetting, Nook’s fun Ice Kacang.

Let’s take a look at the food, shall we?

Various Salads and Kerabu including Kerabu Taugeh, Kerabu Nenas, Kerabu Kacang Panjang and Kerabu Mangga & Sotong.

Eat the rainbow. My favourite cold seafood section too, if you squint a little.

Not surprisingly I filled my first plate with smoked salmon, prawns, and a few of the kerabu.

Still going along the healthy direction.

Let’s move on to the hot dishes:

Rendang tok is a must have of course.

Such appetizing colours!

Ayam Percik

Can’t resist a good ayam percik and I certainly didn’t.

A Glorious Looking Beef Shin Rendang

The Masterpiece: Stuffed Whole Lamb Kuzi served with Nasi Briyani

I’m not much of a lamb eater and find this one just a bit on the gamey side. But the meat is nice and tender though.

More local delights, including Kari Kepala Ikan, Ketam Masak Lemak, Pajeri Terung (my favourite, just give me eggplant and I’ll be a happy girl), and Sambal Udang Petai.

The “bakar” section, including satays as well. The cockles were calling my name, that’s for sure. Porridge (Bubur Lambuk), Dimsum and Nook’s Steamed Chicken Rice (which I couldn’t resist and filled my plate with a portion, it’s pretty decent too. The Dim Sum however wasn’t much to shout about.

Some of the Chinese dishes:

Kung Po Chicken

Beancurd Skin With Yam

This was pretty good too, full of umaminess.

And a couple of Western dishes including this delectable Lamb stew:

Robust flavour, very comforting to eat.

And Mushroom Carbonara (probably can skip this because it’s hard to make Carbonara taste good when it’s going to be sitting there for a while):

Of course, Sarawak Laksa is also available.

Please ignore the fact that the bf chose to have the instant noodles instead of the traditional mee hoon. The broth can be thicker but nevertheless a passable bowl of Sarawak Laksa.

Didn’t snap any picture of desserts but they are a mixture of western and local sweet treats, also include Nook’s signature Ice Kacang with an element of fun (think syringes and all).

In general, the dishes are tasty, although not on the extravagant side. Suitable for those who are looking for a hip enough place to buka with friends/family/colleagues.

Oh, just so I end this with a little bit of a “shock” to you (rarely talk about my personal stuff on this blog anyway) here’s an abrupt introduction:

Eddy, Cheng Yi, and the love of my life, Kevin.

Get used to seeing him with me from now on. ;)

The A-list Malaysian Feast buffet is priced at RM110nett per person and early bird is available from 1 May until 21 June at RM90nett for 30 vouchers and below and RM80nett for 31 vouchers and above. Chef’s A-List Malaysian Feast is available from 22 June till 16 July 2015.

Nook
Level 1, Aloft KL Sentral,
No 5 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur.

For more information, please call +603 2723 1154 or email to nook.03758@alofthotels.com

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Buns & Meat at Lakefield, Sungai Besi

After living in KL for so long, there are still places that I’ve never visited and more often than not, it makes for fun discovery. Just a week or so ago, I was invited to a new restaurant located at Lakefield (what a pretty name), Sungai Besi. This new kid on the block is Buns & Meat, specialising in burgers, hot dogs and plenty of porcine to satisfy any pork lover.

The restaurant itself is decked out in bright colours, its ambiance casual and relaxed, with feature wall filled with coloured bottles and even a couple of Idarts machines for those who want a little bit of extra entertainment. Soothing Bossa/Jazz music fills the air as we walked in, and my mood instantly lifted.

Looking through the menu, nearly 70% of the menu contains pork; and not surprisingly there are some unique burgers and hotdogs to satisfy the gourmands. The owner very generously ordered a few of their signature dishes for us to try and boy did we have a feast! To ease us into our journey, we started with a soup.

Mushroom Soup RM14.90

The mushroom soup is definitely made from scratch, with wonderful earthy flavour of the mushrooms and just enough cream to provide a luscious mouth feel without being cloying. As it was the first meal of the day for me, I happily tucked in for comfort.

From then on, things got a little hot and heavy though, as we were served this glorious sight…

The Runny Mess (RM20.90)

The Runny Mess consists of a pork patty, bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, topped with a poached egg and homemade cheesy sauce. The cheese sauce sure packs a punch as we can smell it a mile away. But of course, I’m sure you’ll want to see the yolkporn.

Oooooooo so sexy!

How was the burger? Personally I love the umami cheesy sauce pairing with the bacon and juicy pork patty; the runny egg yolk of course completes the picture. The buns were decent and of the soft variety, good to transport all that flavours. Didn’t care much for the fries though because I can’t really eat fried food. But I must say the small side serving of macaroni is surprisingly good.

The Char Siew Burger (RM18.90)

Putting Char Siew in a burger is not a bad idea at all, especially for those who love the sweet and savoury combo. Here the pork patty is cushioned by the usual lettuce and tomato, topped with cheese and char siew. The char siew is a little lean for our liking but has good flavours.

Deep fried Chicken Burger (RM18.90)

Doesn’t this just look amazing? There are 2 Chicken Burgers on the menu and one is grilled for the more health conscious, well, I’m glad we got the unhealthy choice (umm…. once a while won’t hurt right?). The Chicken Leg is deep fried to perfection, I mean just look at that super crunchy looking crust! It’s then topped with coleslaw, mustard (once again the lettuce and tomato is omnipresent) which I think is brilliant. All the flavours work well together and even though technically I shouldn’t be eating fried chicken, I stole a bite anyway and loved it. The other half only has this to say: “Awesome”; sorry hun that is why you are not a food blogger. Heh.

Hot dog with Pork Bacon Baked Beans (RM17.90)

There are few interesting choices for the dogs such as Japanese Okonomi, Mac & Cheese (!!) etc and we got to try the one with baked beans, which is also a rather unusual topping. I liked the slight smoky hint of the baked beans and the dog itself is pretty decent.

Japanese Stir Fry Pork Pasta (RM20.90)

Buns & Meat also serves Pizza and Pasta and while we didn’t get to try the Pizza, we were served the Japanese Stir Fry Pork Pasta; packed with chunky pieces of pork, bacon, cabbage, capsicum and then topped with bonito flakes. Although it looks pretty hearty (I’d suggest you share this dish), the flavours are addictive and not to mention appealing to the Asian palate.

BBQ Pork Ribs (RM44.90)

Of course, Pork Ribs are on the menu, and here there are 2 versions: BBQ and Spicy Korean BBQ. We had the BBQ version and boy isn’t it a sight for sore eyes? The thick BBQ sauce is both savoury sweet with a nice smoky note. The ribs? Cuts through like butter. It’s. Just. Perfect. I think the price is also quite reasonable because this is good for 2-3 persons as well. Very well-executed.

Cendol Cake

We picked the Cendol cake because Gula Melaka and Pandan. Sold, and sold. Flavour wise, it’s a lot like Pandan layer cake, though I’d say this suits my taste as it’s not too sweet. There are few other interesting cakes as well as supply of forty licks ice cream if that’s more your thing.

Thank you Buns & Meat for the fabulous hospitality!

Buns & Meat
72A, Jalan Tasik Utama 7, Lakefield, Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur.
Daily, 12pm-12am.
Tel: 03-9055-3378
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BunsAndMeat
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Mono Coffee @ Publika Solaris Dutamas

It’s good to see that people in Klang Valley are embracing the cafe culture, which is something I really miss about Melbourne. I had a latte habit for many years and had to stop because the coffee here was simply not up to scratch. But fret not, because now that the competition is so fierce, it’s only going to get better. Well, introducing Mono Coffee, a third wave coffee shop that is designed to serve artisan and creative cooking. Freshly landed in Publika just a month ago, Mono Coffee has a vision to create a comfortable place for coffee lovers to stop by and enjoy a cuppa.

We were fortunate enough to be invited to celebrate the Grand Opening and we also got a little taste of what they had to offer. It was a casual affair, and the event kicked off with a demonstration that included an introduction session to the beans they use. Some of the guests also got to try making their own latte art.

Demo Session run by their barista

Of course, what’s a Grand opening without a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony? Founder & Group CEO Matthew Chong did the honour, while all of us cheered on.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

What’s a visit to a coffee place without trying their coffee right? Risking staying up all night (usually I only do caffeine beverages during the day), I ordered a flat white.

Flat White

Their own house-blend named “Monian” is mainly from a house blend of 3 prestigious kinds of green coffee beans: Brazil Yellow Bourbon, Guatemala Antigua and Sumatra Lintong. I’m not coffee connoisseur and can’t tell you the tasting notes off my hand but I give you an idea: Ahhh! The familiar taste of my past came lurking back *shivers* (I guess I can get used to this again).

But what really sealed the deal would be the food of course. The styles of food here are veered toward Western cafe food with a bit of creative touch. You’ll find common breakfast item given a Mono twist, thanks to the innovative Kitchen team.

So here are some of the dishes that were served during the evening:

Pods & Chicken Salad (RM16)

Love the pretty colours of the dish and the clean elegant presentation. Essentially a Chicken and Beans salad; it’s dressed simply (love the citrus note) but seasoned well. I love the salty bursts of the feta cheese, and good to have the textural contrast for a little bit of fun factor too.

Beef & Hashed “Benedicts” (RM 17)

The Beef and Hash Benedicts looked tempting with corned beef, grated potato, poached egg, pea sprout and spiced hollandaise sauce; though we didn’t actually get to try this dish (definitely during my next visit).

Stack it (RM14)

The “Stack it” consists of pancakes with beef bacon, cherry tomatoes, maple syrup and a peanut butter based sauce. The combination of sweet and savoury is very appealing indeed.

Our cute little tasting platter.

Pasta Alla Mono

Pasta Alla Mono caters for the vegetarians, with al dente pasta seasoned liberally with extra virgin olive oil, topped with grilled vegetables, a generous sprinkling of arugula, sunflower seeds, and balsamic vinegar. It’s pleasant enough to eat, although some might find it on the oily side.

With the MHB Girls.

Thank you Mono Coffee for the invitation, looking forward to a nice brunch session soon!

MONO Coffee
A2-G2-3A Publika Shopping Gallery
Jalan Dutamas 1
Solaris Dutamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6206 5239
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/monocoffee.my
Website: monocoffee.co

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My Mother

I’ve always thought that my mother is one of a kind. Growing up, she was very much the career woman. Fashionable, cool, professional but at the same time gentle and loving in her own way. Although in my adult years things changed and we all went through some ups and downs together; in a way, I have a lot to thank her for, for becoming who I am today. If I were to explain this, it will take me all day (might involve a couch and a therapist). So let’s start with something a little more relevant to this blog.

One thing that has always connected us together is of course, food. I come from a line of good cooks and that includes my grandmother too. Fortunately, my mom inherited most of my grandma’s recipes and has definitely inspired me to continuously improve my skills. My parents have always believed that cooking is a basic survival skill and I’m glad I had the training when I was younger.

Most of you know that I’ve practically done the unthinkable when I moved from Medicine to Music, Melbourne to KL. Understandably, this would come as a shock to any parent. Truthfully, it’s selfish of me to want my own happiness, but my mom has remained quietly supportive about all this. Needless to say, without her, I wouldn’t be courageous enough to go ahead and pursue my dreams

I know that I don’t normally talk about my family that much, but since Mother’s day is just around the corner, I guess it’s the right time to express my gratitude via this post. I’m glad to have her living in the same city now, after being separated for more than 10 years when I was overseas (Even though practically it’s still quite a drive away). Thank you mommy for all you have done for me and I sincerely wish you all the happiness in the world for being so imperfectly perfect. Love you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Most Recent Photo of us while celebrating her birthday at Barn Thai.

In the spirit of upcoming Mother’s day, here’s a little heart-warming tribute.

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