Effortless, Bouncy Curls with Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler

As an entertainer/performer, I have to make sure I always look the part on stage. For many years, my hair has gone through a lot of changes but one thing is for sure, it can never be boring. Now that it has grown long again, the easiest way for it to look good is curling it for that extra pizzazz.

Unfortunately, a clumsy girl like me has never learnt to use a curling tong without hurting myself, even with many years of practice. If it’s not my neck, my fingers, then it’s my ears (ouch). Every. Single. Time. Because of that I’ve started looking out for safer (and quicker) options too. There are quite a few curling tongs which has automatic functions out there, and I’ve tried them a few, but have never been truly happy with the results.

And that is until I meet the new Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler. Launched just a couple of weeks ago, this fabulous tool is designed to let woman achieve salon-style curls without stepping out of the house, or even when on the go. The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler comes with breakthrough technology for hair curling that not only produces the ultimate curl but also is safe and non-damaging to hair. Great news!

At the launch event, we got to experience the Auto Curler for ourselves, but first we were treated to a mini fashion show with the models all spotting hair curled with the Auto Curler!

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Look, our very own Miss Intercontinental 2017, Sanjna Suri!

Mr Muhammad Ali Jaleel, Country Manager of Philips Malaysia, who launched the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler delivered his speech: “All over the world, women’s self-concept of beauty has changed over time, as we have ascertained through the Global Beauty Index[1]. Today’s women have a deeper sense of their own beauty. From the survey, we have learnt that their key motivation for looking beautiful is wanting to look their best for themselves (54%), with 70% of respondents also believing that beauty is something you define for yourself and not decided by someone else. By further developing conversations on beauty based on these latest insights, Philips aims to better understand the needs and desires of women across the world. Indeed, with 89% of women believing that there are lots of ways to be beautiful, we are motivated to further deliver meaningful innovations that meets these needs,”

“The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is precisely the type of innovation that offers women a boost in their styling regime beyond what was available previously. We recognised that curls are now a much coveted hairstyle for women everywhere, and many women want to achieve this look without a salon visit. With the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler, women can now achieve just the curls they want, at home and on the go,” said Ali. “However, creating consistent curls from the front to the back of your head can be challenging, as women don’t have the same field of vision or length of reach when styling their own hair, compared to using a stylist at the salon. Hence, the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is a great tool that can help women overcome this challenge. The innovative features such as a longer curling barrel and smart curling guards help women create bouncy, uniformly-shaped curls that last, for a professional, salon-style look.”

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Getting the Ultimate DIY Curl

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler possesses a number of unique features such as a longer curling barrel, two smart curling guards and an open vertical design. Combined, these features make perfect, lustrous curls an effortless reality.

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A little demonstration on stage by Sahil. Even a non-hairstylist can produce perfect curls!

To use it, switch on the curler to warm up, section out correct amount of hair and hold the curler with the front facing. Insert the hair into the curling chamber starting from the back of the appliance. Make sure you stretch out the hair strand before pressing and holding the curl button. The hair will be slowly wrapped around the curling barrel to be curled. The curler will beep slowly, then followed by a series of faster beeps telling you to release the hair, and voila! Perfectly styled ringlet! Continue with the rest of your hair until you look like a bombshell! Hehe.

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What the curling barrel looks like.

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And the curling button.

Increased curling surface

The new Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler features a longer barrel with 113% more curling surface than previous devices. This enables women to style twice as much hair in one go, creating the perfect hairstyle in just minutes! My whole head only takes me around 10 minutes, even I’m impressed with myself.

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Innovative open design

The innovative new open design of the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler has been shaped vertically so that it follows the natural flow of long hair. This means there is less chance of the hair becoming trapped in the device, enabling women to style confidently and effortlessly, while knowing that the health of their hair is being protected. No more fried hair!

Smart Curling Guards

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler also features two smart curling guards. These ensure that the section of hair being styled is perfectly wrapped around the curling barrel of the device, therefore creating perfectly uniform curls.

Here’s a video of me experiencing the auto curler for myself, or rather learning to use it.

Happy Reunion with our fabulously curled hair!

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Pricing and availability

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is priced at RM629 and is available at the Philips Brand Store in Publika Shopping Gallery and The Gardens Mid Valley, both in Kuala Lumpur, and in Sutera Mall, Johor Bahru; at Philips Experience Stores in Menara Axis, Petaling Jaya and in Penang; at retail partners and distributor stores nationwide, and online via the Philips Online Shop at  http://www.shop.philips.com.my/

For further information, visit http://philips.com.my.

[1] The Philips Global Beauty Index is an extensive international study on women’s perceptions on beauty. Held annually since 2015, the 2017 study surveyed the opinions of 11,132 women aged 18 and above in 11 countries (USA, UK, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, Korea, and India) to provide insights into current beauty industry trends, perceptions and needs across continents.

For further information, visit http://philips.com.my.

I will be posting a video demonstration next time when I use the Auto Curler too to give you a more detailed “tour”, so stay tuned for the announcement on my social media!!

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Mid-Autumn Mooncakes at Dynasty Restaurant,Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Are you a fan of mooncakes? In this day and age, the art of mooncake making has become so creative that everyone is introducing new and never used before flavours in their mooncakes, hoping to stand out from the crowd. We had a chance to visit Dynasty Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur to sample their mooncake selections.

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Dynasty Chinese Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival with an array for their handcrafted mooncakes which are available for purchase at Dynasty Restaurant from 29 August to 4 October 2017 and at Mid Valley Megamall from 14 September to 4 October 2017.

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The restaurant will be offering a selection of 12 types of baked and snowskin mooncakes using pure and natural ingredients, for classics such as the Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk, low sugar White lotus paste with single salted yolkBamboo charcoal green tea black sesame and Red bean paste.

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Traditionally made of lotus seed paste embedded with a salted egg yolk, look out for some new flavors this season include Red pitaya lotus paste with mangoHoney lotus paste with chocolateYam paste with single egg yolkAlisan tea paste with green tea and Chinese chestnut paste with egg yolk.

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Amongst their Snowskin Mooncakes, personally I enjoyed their Alison Tea Paste with Green Tea. The tea aroma is quite prominent, with just the right amount of sweetness. The Yam Paste is pretty unique too. I don’t personally eat durian, but its smell is super strong and according to the others the taste is quite intense too.

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I also enjoyed their baked mooncakes, and the Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk stood up with its distinct flavour.

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The Red Pitaya lotus paste with mango is surprisingly pleasant with its slight piquancy.

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Besides the conventional baked mooncakes and the snow skin ones, Dynasty is also offering a range of baked mini mooncakes. The mooncakes are packaged in signature boxes with any choice of 4 pieces of traditional mooncake, 6 pieces of baked mini mooncake or 6 pieces of mini snow skin.

Discounts and Specials:-

  • Free delivery to one (1) location (within 5km radius of Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel) for purchase of 20 boxes and above. Additional charges apply for locations outside 5km radius.
  • All pre-paid orders of minimum 10 boxes before 16 September for pick-up between 14 September to 4 October 2017 will receive a 25% discount.
  • Selected credit card discounts apply.

To place your order or for more info, call 03 2771 6692 or email rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com

MOONCAKE MENU

满福楼月饼系列

Traditional Mooncake – 4 pieces per box
Baked Mini Mooncake – 6 pieces per box

Regular Mini
玫瑰豆沙月Red bean paste RM27nett
香港白莲月White lotus paste RM27nett
竹炭绿茶黑芝麻月Bamboo charcoal green tea with black sesame (low sugar) RM28nett RM20nett
單黃白莲月White lotus paste with single salted yolk (low sugar) RM28nett RM20nett
火㔫芒果月Red pitaya lotus paste with mango RM28nett RM21nett
上海單黃月Shanghai lotus paste with single salted yolk (low sugar) RM28nett RM21nett
單黃翡翠玉环月Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk

满福楼迷你月饼系列

Mini snow skin mooncake (6 pieces per box) 

 

RM29nett RM20nett
高山绿茶月Alisan tea paste with green tea RM18nett
柠蜜莲蓉朱古力Honey lotus paste with chocolate

 

RM18nett
粟子單黃月Chinese chestnut paste with egg yolk RM18.50nett
單黃芋蓉月Yam paste with single egg yolk RM18.50nett
風味榴槤月Durian paste RM19.50nett

Maui Jim Sunglasses x Malaya Optical

Thanks to my severe Myopia, I’ve been in and out of mostly healthy relationships with numerous Optical shops everywhere. Though being invited to a Sunglasses event was the coolest and the least un-nerdy experience. Such experience was given by Malaya Optical at Damansara Uptown, thanks to the Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers. We were there to check out the new range of Maui Jim Sunglasses which landed on our shore not too long ago.

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Maui Jim started out in 1980 as a small company selling sunglasses on the beach in Lahaina on the island of Maui, which is part of the Hawaiian islands. Maui is one of the lushest, most vibrant places on earth. Yet its intense sunlight can be quite harmful to the naked eye, which in the long run could hide the beauty of the island.

And so Maui Jim developed their revolutionary PolarizedPlus2® lens because they recognised a blue ocean market for technology that could combat intense glare and harmful UV while bringing the brilliant colours of the island to life. These lenses provide provides greater colour, clarity, and detail, while shielding your eyes from glare and harmful UV.

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Maui Jim’s patented multi-layered lens design allows more usable light to be transmitted to the eyes, resulting in unrivalled visual acuity, contrast and colour are the exquisite results. This allows the user to experience deeper, more saturated colours and higher levels of contrast in any environment.

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Maui Jim sunglasses are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV filter for the eyes and surrounding skin because the patented PolarisedPlus2® lens technology can eliminate 99.9% of glare and blocks 100% of harmful UV rays. It is the only premium sunglasses brand carrying the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval.

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Available in four lens colours, Maui Jim® offers an option for every level of light. The Neutral Grey lenses offer contrast and the highest available glare reduction and are suitable for all light conditions, especially bright, direct sunlight. The Maui Rose® lenses offer the sharpest contrast and image resolution. They are excellent for fast action activities, overcast or foggy days. There are HCL® (High Contrast Lens) Bronze lenses, which offer enhanced contrast and are ideal for hazy and low light conditions. The new HT™ (High Transmission) lenses are perfect for variable and low light conditions, haze, fog, or overcast days and feature a flattering palm tint without a distracting yellow cast.

Today, Maui Jim offers over 125 styles of sunglasses, 100% of which are polarized and protect from 100% of UVA and UVB rays, with Polarizedplus2® Lens Technology for brilliant colour so every detail is crisper and cleaner and without glare or harmful UV.

For more info, head over to http://www.mauijim.com

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Malaya Optical only hires qualified optometrist who will examine not only examine, but also advise on the condition of patients’ eyes, and are trained to recognise diseases of the eye, such as glaucoma and cataract, as well as general health conditions such as diabetes.

Optometrists in Malaya Optical especially in their HQ Damansara Uptown are aided by many state of the art instruments such as Slit Lamp with Optical Digital Zoom Camera by Nikon (to examine contact lenses fitting and cataract),  Non Contact Relax Tonometer by Reichert (to examine Inter Ocular Pressure, IOP or Glaucoma),  High Definition Digital Retina Imaging by Canon (to examine Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration  or Retina Atrophy), Zeiss iProfiler Occular Wavefront Aberrometer, Autorefractometer, Atlas Corneal Topographer, and Keratometer (to examine Refractive Errors to 0.125 Diopter and also Corneal Curvature for better fit of soft or RGP contact lenses), Zeiss Relax Vision Terminal (to examine pupillary distance and multi-focal precision fitting height) and more.

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Apart from Maui Jim, the boutique carries a huge range of eyewear collections from designer frames to branded sunglasses such as Swiss flex, Wolfgang Proksch, Mykita, Coppe Sid, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs, JF Rey, Calvin Klein, Whiteout & Glare, Blackfin, Less Than Human, Unodstrial, Tag Heuer, Oakley, Markus T, Moschino, Lafont, ByWP, Parasite, Boz, Round Frames, Retro Frames, Anitque Frames, Aha, Benetton, Burberry, Bywp, Coach, Emporio Armani, Fendi, Giogio Armani, GF Ferrer, Haus Marke, John Richmond, Max Mara, Miu Miu, Moschino, Nike, Prada, Paris Hilton, Robert Marc, Romeo Gigly, Rudy Project, Sama, Victor Rolf, Vivien Westwood, Zero Rh, Andy Wolf, Bevel, Blackfin, Boz, Byblos, Coppe + Sid, Derapage, Derek Lam, Dun, Dutz, Eco, Envisu, Face Font, Ferragamo, Frank Kids, Free Form Green, Gotti, Hana, Lotto, Metzler, Modo, IC Berlin, Parasite, Noego, Paul Smith, Perfect Number, Plasta, Ultem, Superdry, Staffan Preutz, Synergi, Spvvyi, Salt, Carbon Fiber, Undostrial and many more.

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Thanks for having us!

Malaya Optical outlets are located at:

Damansara Uptown
71, SS21/37 Damansara Uptown, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7728 0228/03-7710 8550
Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10.30am – 9pm, Sunday: 10.30am – 7pm

Subang Jaya
C5, SS15/4d, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-5631 3328
Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10.30am – 9pm, Sunday: 10.30am – 7pm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malayaoptical
Website: http://www.malayaoptical.com

Just Heavenly Cafe at Bangsar Shopping Centre

Just a couple of months ago, we attended the launch of @the5tory and we had a little taste of what Just Heavenly Cafe has to offer, and it’s more than just heavenly cakes. In fact, the menu here is rather extensive so I guess that’s why Nigel invited us back for a proper foodie get together so we could eat til our hearts’ content.

And feast we did, though not without a little game of ice-breaker in the form of writing a short story which turned out to be a psychology test. Ah…. Nigel, always one to make the party interesting. Anyway, there are many dishes to get through, so I best not digress.

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We started off with this gorgeous looking Char Siew Chicken Salad (RM21). Oh yeah, Just Heavenly is pork free, but fortunately, this chicken char siew was done quite well, with a bit of fatty stuff to make it nice and juicy, good contrast with the grassy green bits.

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Something a little more common, the Caesar Salad (RM23), which comes with either beef bacon or smoked salmon and a cling wrap poached egg perched on top, nice touch. Good thing is this is dressed very lightly so you don’t accidentally consume too much calories in the process.

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Can’t say I’ve ever tried Salmon Spring Rolls before. This is a little Japanese inspired perhaps? Priced at RM17 for a good portion. Interesting bite over a chatter.

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The Fish Fingers come from the Special menu, and these definitely did not come from a box (ahh… the stuff that got me through uni). The flesh is lovely flaky with super crispy crust. I’d gladly have more of these.

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This is one of the nicest pumpkin soup (RM17) I’ve had lately, full of the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, thick, creamy, and that garlic toast is something else! So good.

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We then moved on to the main, with this glorious BLT Burger (RM30), made with Prime Aussie Beef, chunky mushroom sauce, lettuce and tomato on toasted sesame seed served with chunky chips and salad with feta cheese. A good classic tasting burger which will definitely fill you up.

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The Lamb Burghini (love the name) is Greek inspired. I love Greek Food, but unfortunately, I don’t eat lamb so I had to skip this.

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The Curryeggy (RM26) looks the most interesting. Egg, Flaky Puff Pastry, Chicken Filling, Curry Sauce. A very hearty combo, best to be shared. Love the crispy curry leaves for that aromatic bite.

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The One That Got Away is another item on Special. Made just like the proper Fish & Chips in Australia/UK. I think they used Cod for this but my memory is failing me so this is a wild guess.

And it’s not the end yet! We were fed few more dishes in the form of pasta.

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First the Crab Aglio Olio (RM32). The angel hair is a touch soft for my liking, but the flavours were spot on.

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Here the Carbonara is served with Penne for a change. Comes with plenty of mushrooms and beef bacon, this is quite creamy and cheesy. Definitely the ultimate guilty pleasure.

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I saved the best for last. The Linguine Pesto (RM30) is delicious! I’m also slightly biased because Linguine is my favourite shape of pasta. But the pesto here is delightfully aromatic, and I like how they top it with plenty of greens.

Finally, with what little stomach space we had, it was time for desserts.

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A high tea set! I’m fully stuffed at this point so didn’t try everything.

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The Play it again Sam, which we also had last time. A tribute to the late Samantha Schubert, Malaysian Actor and Model, this cake is a delicious triple decker melange of Bananas, Strawberries, and Chocolate all topped with fresh cream.

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The Rainbow Cheesecake is fun to look at, with no compromise on taste. Thanks to Kevin I rarely get to savour cheesecakes and I definitely appreciated this.

Phew! That was a lot of food! I’m hungry again looking at these pictures and I think I need to return for some of those Linguine Pesto (and the Curryeggy) Thank you, Nigel, for the fantastic hospitality once again!

Just Heavenly Cafe
3rd Floor
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Jalan Maarof
59000 Kuala Lumpur
10am-10pm daily

Jaya One branch
10am-8pm
Genting Skyavenue
10am to 10pm

Siew Yoke (Roast Pork) with Panasonic Cubie Oven

There is something innately appealing about crispy food. Perhaps it’s because we associate crispy with great tasting food: generally crispy food is a product of the Maillard reaction, which leads to more intensely flavoured and savoury food, or maybe it’s the whole sensory experience of hearing that tantalizing sound of crunch and the texture. For me, the top 3 crispy food would be 1: Fried Chicken, which I have to cut out of my diet to protect my voice; 2. Tonkatsu (Japanese Deep Fried Pork Cutlet), which is another thing I have to eat sparingly of; and 3. Siew Yoke! Luckily this one I can eat whenever I want. Good news is that it’s also pretty convenient to make it at home.

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You, glorious thing.

With the gadgets I have at home, there are no shortage of ways to make this delicious treat. The convection oven is the standard, Airfryer is super convenient and foolproof, and now I have the Panasonic Cubie Oven too which can achieve the same delicious result.

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The Cubie in action.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, the Panasonic Cubie Oven has a few interesting functions, and you can read about its performance of steaming here. Today, I’d like to talk about the Healthy Fry function. Basically, akin to an airfryer. The oven circulates hot air to cook the food, so you can crisp up your dish without using much oil (or none at all if the ingredients are naturally oily). I’ve decided to try using this function to make my Siew Yoke. And did it work? It sure did!

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Before we get to that, let me also tell you that I’ve tried using just the Convection oven mode as well and while it can also produce a decent siew yoke, it does require a much longer time and as a result the skin is a little less crispy than the healthy fry version and the meat ended up a bit too dry.

Anyway, let’s get to the recipe then. The basic Siew Yoke requires only a few essential ingredients:

Pork Belly (obviously)

Generous amount of Salt

Pepper to taste

1 teaspoon 5 Spice Powder

1 tablespoon Vinegar (or Lemon Juice).

The salt, pepper and 5 spice powder are used in combination to marinate the meat side while the vinegar or lemon juice is combined with salt for the skin to draw out moisture. But it’s the preparation that makes a world of difference for the crispy skin.

1. So, first, you take a whole slab of pork belly and blanch it well, for around 15 minutes, making sure it’s cooked all the way through. Then, drain and pat it dry.

2. Next step is absolutely crucial. You must poke hundreds of holes through the skin. How do you do that? Either with a fork, a skewer (takes ages, trust me), or a spike meat tenderizer that looks a little bit a torture device. Do it over and over again until you are satisfied that every surface has been covered. Then wipe the skin dry and apply vinegar and salt. It’s also time to apply your salt/pepper/5 spice marinade on the meat side.

You might have noticed that the first and second picture look slightly different, it’s because I decided to score my skin the second time for easy cutting later.

3. Once you’ve done that and properly worked up some sweat, leave the pork near a window to air dry for a few hours. Wiping the skin dry occasionally if needed. If the weather is humid, you might even want to consider using a hairdryer to dry it for a minute or two.

4. When the pork belly is almost ready for the cooking, turn on the cubie oven to healthy fry mode and let it preheat (the preset temperature is 190 and it’s fixed). Set it to 60 minutes and put in the pork belly, skin side up. Make sure the slab sits evenly so the skin will cook evenly.

5. Check the pork in the last few minutes, if the skin hasn’t bubbled up, add another 15-20 minutes and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get burnt. For this batch, I also applied a miso/honey baste at the end for added flavour. It was such a good idea!

So the end product…. super crispy skin!

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Tasty, juicy meat, perfect crunch. Just watch them disappear in minutes!

For more information on Panasonic Cubie Oven, hop over to their website, or check out Panasonic’s facebook page.

Arts Beyond Sight feat. Poesy小詩

Imagine seeing the World with only a little or completely without your beloved eyesight!
Dark, daunting and depressive thoughts?
But can we try to see a sightless world from a different perspective?

Imagine seeing without colours, would it cause less racial discrimination?
Or not looking at physical deformities, would it help us to hear a person’s inner beauty?
Will we learn not to judge a book by looking at its cover in a World that often believe and judge in what they see?

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Welcome to Arts Beyond Sight, an experiential journey of seeing the creative beauty of Arts without your sight! Visitors will be guided by professionally trained visually impaired Guide thru a 30 minutes of Touching, Smelling, Hearing and Tasting the beauty of Arts seen from a non visual perspective!

Arts Beyond Sight is an effort by Save Ones Sight Missions Berhad (SOSM) a non profit Organisation, Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia (Social Enterprise) and DID MY Innovations Sdn Bhd (Social Enterprise). For more information please email our Founder Mr Stevens Chan at stevens@did.my

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Introduction of this year’s solo artist :
Poesy Liang 梁小詩 is an artist, mastering 3 classical Chinese mediums since 6yo. She was discovered as Levi’s 501 girl at the age of 14. As a teenager, Poesy feels at home in a film set – she has worked closely with top commercial filmmakers, leading agencies & prestigious brands – a familiar face in the broadcasting world from high school through architectural school till her late 20s.

She was paralysed twice. In her quest to heal, Poesy experimented with her social media to raise compassion, kindness and empathy, which won her numerous humanitarian awards & recognition. After many reinventions, Poesy re-emerged an interdisciplinary artist who is busy in 3 continents. Due to many requests to turn her life into a movie, she has opted to tell her story through a very short “Poesy Anime” which is still in production.

This exhibition is Poesy’s self-portrait in the dark which borrows some materials from “Poesy Anime” never shown to the public and showcases other unpublished creative skills. All your senses will be activated except for your sight.
This exhibition is suitable for children from 12 years old up.

梁小诗,是位艺术家,自六岁开始掌握书法,水墨画,雕刻等的古典中华艺术。 她在十四岁时被选为”Levi’s 501 Girl”星马区的广告模特儿。虽然年纪还小,她在拍片过程中却是如鱼得水般的自在。陆陆续续的接了不少的广告,和当时当红的商业影片者,知名國際品牌的代理商合作无间,这样的生活从中学一直延续到她二十多岁上了建筑学院时。
她的人生中经历了两次瘫痪。在療癒探索的过程中,她在社交媒体上发起了“恻隐,仁爱,同理”的醒覺活动,取得多项“人道认同”的相关奖项。
測底改造後小詩成為 跨学科艺术家 重新出现, 活躍於亚美欧三大洲之間。
她的经历吸引了不少影片制作者的注意,有者要求把她的劇本拍成电影。而她选择用一部动漫短片 Poesy Anime 来发表她的故事, 目前还在制作中。
這個展覽是小詩在黑暗中的自画像採用Poesy Anime還沒面世的材料和一些尚未發表的创作。
除了視覺之外,所有感官將會被啟動。
這個超視覺藝術展覽適合12歲以上的觀眾。

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Here’s a video from the press conference:

Poesy’s Speech:

I’d like everyone to relax, don’t look at your phone, close your eyes. Relax, it’s okay. Close them. Let your eyes take a minute break. Now, listen to the sound of my voice. Can you tell anything from how I sound? Listen to the sounds around you. Can you tell who is sitting or standing? Slouching, eating or yawning? Listen to the sounds outside. What do you hear? Is there a lot of traffic? Trucks? Bikes? For some people, this is their entire life. And for what you might experience as an inconvenience, some might consider a super power. The ability to hear sounds and surroundings in a way like no other. Today, I’ll be talking about the blind and visually impaired. While I’m a person with sight, I’ve come to admire and become close with people in the blind community getting to know them through their stories. From judgement to struggles to joys.
First, I’d like to thank YB for officiating my exhibition. Thank you to the members of the media for taking the time to be here. Today is an uncommon day for me because it is not often that I find myself seated next to a politician in a press conference. I’m an artist, and often more focused on expression than governance. So, it’s great that we are here today, united for the arts & humanity and I am here for a cause that is close to my heart which is to raise empathy for the blind & visually impaired.
It is an honor to be the solo artist for Art Beyond Sight this year. Mr Stevens Chan of Dialogue in the Dark was first connected to me by the Singapore International Foundation. I’d like to thank them both for this opportunity.

For those who hasn’t met me yet, I will offer a brief introduction of why I am here.
I am a founder of a social experiment started on Facebook 11 years ago. It was a movement based on random acts of kindness, I wrote the policy with 4 simple rules – No fundraising, No Commerce, No Religion & No Politics. My movement spread to more than 20 countries, in Malaysia alone I throw an average of 1200 volunteer events per year for the first 6 years. The activities were run without a production budget and were designed for volunteers who were willing to do random acts of kindness and to serve the marginalised community. It was my first of many portfolios of a new kind of art performance. A senior curator who is also the Commissioner of the Arts for the City of Dallas coined my work as the art of life and it gained me many invitations to different countries, to create more movements & to grace the stage of global humanitarian summits at the United Nations in New York. As an artist, you can say that kindness is my art, despite my preceding reputation of a wicked human mind.

I have always been curious to work with the blind. My first project with the blind was exactly 7 years ago in San Francisco. That summer I persuaded a quartet of big named jazz singers & musicians to perform a free concert for 100 blind audience inside a borrowed canteen. The immense reward from that humble project brought me clarity, it was the kind of clarity about life that you will experience when you gain new perspective not with your eyes but with your consciousness. That perspective came to me when I tried to empathise what it was to be blind. Ever since then, I have held a strong belief that the blind can often see a life situation far more clearly than someone who has eyesight. More often that not, our eyesight causes confusion because it makes us judgmental human beings. The eyes receive images, which communicate messages that may or may not be intended. We may be influenced by what we see, and then our perceptions and attitudes are impacted. But, take that sight away, and the distraction of stereotype changes completely. Our intuition becomes sharper.
When Mr. Stevens Chan approached me about doing this exhibition, I saw the opportunity of gifting this extraordinary dimension to the Malaysian public. While normally, I charge a fee for my public speaking engagements and exhibitions, for this it was different. I was compelled to join the cause.
Today is uncommon also because the exhibition we are launching is my self-portrait in the dark. If you were observant, I use a mobility scooter to get around, my story has been told many times in the media but not the way I am about to share with you today. A few years ago in HK, a prominent collector of Chinese contemporary art from Switzerland gave me an important piece of career advise, he told me to share my life story. What he said to me was no different to what the agents, book publishers and film makers said to me over the decades, but speaking to someone who understood & supported artists inspired me to write my own rules. I did not want a 100-minute movie nor a boring old book. So 4 years ago, I started to draw a short animation film titled Poesy Anime slated for global release on social media. This short movie was only going to be 5 minutes long, I wanted it to be short since our general attention span these days are also short. Today you will be hearing the soundtrack of this film before anyone else. This script has gone round the globe and it took 14 writers 2 years to shorten my life story into 5 minutes. To shape the narration, we had a scriptwriter who consults for Disney, a film school professor from a Texas university, while others were media producers & journalists who had interviewed me in great lengths. Needless to say, I had to personally sit through many hours of counseling.
I self-fund this production by selling my art work, painting on the sidewalks in Europe & travelling between 3 continents each year – just painting my way. The final copy of this soundtrack was recorded in London last year with a special music director who was also the last music director of the late great songstress Teresa Teng. To date, I have spent close to USD$22,000 on this production with most of the top professionals offering their services pro bono and now I am offering this exhibition to you for free. It is my birthday and we can consider it my gift to my home country Malaysia.
When you enter that pitch black room later, know that you are sharpening your senses by temporarily taking away your sight. You are not pretending to be disabled, but instead think about expanding your abilities in that darkness. Rest your eyes and let your consciousness take over. I hope you will gain insights from your experience and tell all your friends about it on social media, traditional media and please come back again with friends and their teenage children, the exhibition is suitable for children 12 years upwards. And it will be open from 11 to 7 everyday until Hari Merdeka. Don’t waste this opportunity.
Before I end, I would like to thank the blind guides who will be walking you through the dark room experience. They will only be earning a small allowance each day for an entire month to present this experience to you. To contribute to their dedicated service, please donate to Dialogue in the Dark. You will see the main character of Poesy Anime printed on the tshirts for sale, those are also to help raise funds for the cause. I’d like to leave you with a favorite quote of mine, “If you ever find yourself in complete darkness, you are better off being led to the end of the tunnel by someone blind.” So go forth and have a unique experience that now can only belong to you.

If you are planning to pay a visit to *Arts Beyond Sight feat. Poesy小詩* soon, this is last week’s attendance statistics so you may choose a good day for yourself. (Currently still no queues on their busiest day.) Media day ~> 16 Day 1 ~> 13 Day 2 ~> 28 Day 3 ~> 20 Day 4 ~> 23 Day 5~> 62 Day 6 ~> 47

Here are the Facebook event links : https://web.facebook.com/events/671962409675861/ https://web.facebook.com/events/1415587341889377/

Poesy’s Social Media
Instagram @poesyliang
Twitter @poesyliang, @HelpingAngels @poezjewellers
Facebook
www.facebook.com/poesyliang
www.facebook.com/poesyart
www.facebook.com/poesyprize
www.facebook.com/BaldEmpathyMovement
www.facebook.com/poesyworld
www.facebook.com/poesymusic
www.facebook.com/poezjewellers

Love Our Planet: Time to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle 

Recycling is a relatively new concept in Malaysia. During my years of living in Australia, a couple things that were done very well were waste segregation and water conservation. That’s why it was a bit of a cultural shock when I moved to KL. A few years ago it was literally unheard of to bring reusable bags to shopping trips and in fact, the cashiers would gladly use as many plastic bags as possible to sort your groceries, some even practise the act of double bagging, which was totally appalling to me. Similarly, all trash would go into the same bin, plastic, paper, food waste, whatever. And water? Everyone just uses water like no tomorrow and God forbid if there’s water disruption where the public goes into a frantic attempt to keep large amount of water, only to be discarded once the disruption is over.

I’m no angel of course and there are things I do which contribute to carbon footprints, which is unavoidable sometimes. But I would like to do as much as possible to save our planet: Climate change is real guys. If you want your children to live a long life, better start doing something today! Anyway, back to the plastic bags. On 1 January 2017, my current home state of Selangor imposed a ban on the use of polystyrene containers and while extending the “No Plastic Bag Day” on Saturdays to seven days a week.

Essentially, polystyrene containers were banned while a 20 sen charge per plastic bag was levied on consumers at supermarkets and retail stores throughout the state. While 20 sen per plastic bag may not seem a lot and many consumers won’t really mind paying, the actual intention behind the charge was to educate consumers on the importance of reducing the usage of plastic bags.
Now, five (5) months into the ban, it’s become a habit for us to bring along our reusable bags for our groceries trips and it’s also pleasant to note that many shoppers are doing the same. Although it’s a shame that we had to actually impose a charge on the plastic bags for this to happen, at least there’s progress.

The BBC ran a report recently stating that scientists say about eight million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the world’s oceans each year. This amount of debris is, they say, like covering an area 34 times the size of New York’s Manhattan Island to ankle depth.

The feature also highlighted the possible threat to the food chain, by the plastics broken down into tiny fragments in our oceans. Tests by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory have shown that when minuscule particles of plastic are in the water, the creatures at the bottom of the food chain do ingest them.

Ref: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-environment-34415464/plastic-in-oceans-threatens-food-chain

So you throw a plastic bag indiscriminately, the fish eat the plastic bag, you eat the fish and you probably end up getting stomach or gastro intestinal cancer. Karma is unavoidable…

OK but what about the total ban on polystyrene containers?

The use of polystyrene takeaway products was widely touted as detrimental to the environment when disposed due to its non-biodegradable nature. In fact, the authorities attributed the indiscriminate disposal of polystyrene lunch boxes into the waterways as the cause of flash floods in the Klang Valley during torrential downpours due to the presence of polystyrene lunch boxes floating around impeding the flow of the flood waters into the drains.

Polystyrene boxes though are light material and floats on water hence it’s also highly likely there are plenty of other forms of heavier garbage that were also the cause of drains being blocked.

Polystyrene lunchboxes represent the most versatile, economical, user-friendly and effective product in the takeaway of food. It can insulate heat, wherein when the food is hot, the user holding the lunchbox will not feel any heat at all.

So, what is the alternative when polystyrene lunchboxes are banned? Hawkers now use solid plastic lunchboxes that contribute up to 3 times more to the waste problem as plastic lunchboxes are 15-16 grams in weight as compared to polystyrene lunchboxes which are 4-5 grams in weight.

A country’s “solid waste” and “waste management” is measured in metric tons and thanks to the use of solid plastic lunchboxes, we are now contributing 3 times more in terms of waste which is actually more detrimental to the environment.

Plastic lunchboxes also use 3 times more plastic resin than polystyrene lunchboxes, meaning more raw materials are used to produce them starting with the petrochemical plants that contribute heavily to pollution. For manufacturers to produce the plastic lunchboxes, the machines consume 4 times more electricity than manufacturing the polystyrene lunchboxes!

So wait a minute – the alternative product to polystyrene is actually worse for the environment! And to compound matters, polystyrene lunchboxes are not biodegradable if not disposed of properly!

Biodegradability and/or compostability ensures that the end-product can be broken down and degraded back to its molecular state. Plastics actually have the ability to be biodegradable and compostable as well with modern manufacturing techniques and additives.

However, for the plastics to biodegrade back to its original base, the item must be properly disposed of and end up in a compost or landfill. Biodegradable, compostable or environmentally-friendly plastics of any kind that is indiscriminately disposed will NOT biodegrade and will continue to remain as their original state.

That goes to say that if you keep a solid plastic container in your kitchen cabinet, it will stay as a solid plastic container in your kitchen cabinet for years and not biodegrade.

So, what then is the solution for this problem?

As much as it would pain our authorities to admit, but our neighbours down South have the solution.

“The Government will not impose a ban on them in consideration of other factors, such as the cost of alternatives and inconvenience to hawkers and consumers, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said on Monday (9 May 2016).”

“Dr Khor said that while polystyrene foam packaging may be of concern in some countries where waste is landfilled, it is incinerated safely in Singapore at waste-to-energy incineration plants, which are fitted with pollution control equipment.”

Ref: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/no-ban-on-using-styrofoam-packaging-but-hawkers-discouraged-from-using-it-amy

In fact, there have been studies done to show that in many instances, the alternative is actually not more environmentally friendly.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/paper-cups-not-an-environmentally-friendly-option-here-either-ex-7540186

Of course, the best alternative is to bring your own tiffin carrier, mug or tumbler. However, sometimes you just don’t have one with you.

How do we solve this problem?

The people living in this country need a paradigm shift. We need to learn how to be more conscious about the environment and not litter indiscriminately. This is a culture that needs to be inculcated at an early stage and indeed at all levels – government, corporate and civil society.

More enforcement needs to be taken against the main causes of polystyrene pollution, be it more enforcement officers at construction sites, commercial and F&B outlets, and even residential areas. The change won’t happen overnight however like the 20 sen charge for plastic bags, consumers will slowly realise the importance of looking after the environment and the effect might trickle into other aspects of life – making Malaysian a country of people with a conscience.

Our local authorities should look at installing electricity-generating incinerators like Norway which transforms its trash and waste into energy – doing away with the need for fossil fuels to power the power plants thus solving the issue of insufficient landfills and rising energy costs.

China lifted its ban on polystyrene back in 2013 after a 14-year long ban. Perhaps it’s time our authorities reassess whether or not this ban is actually helping the environment or not, and if it’s not, stop the ineffective ban and consider other solutions instead.

At the end of the day, it’s up to us to reduce, reuse and recycle. We only have one planet to live on so it’s time to change our mindset.

Lan Jie style Steamed Tilapia with Panasonic Cubie Oven

If you come into my kitchen, you might assume that I’m a gadget geek. Well, it wouldn’t be too far from the truth as we had to clear out a good portion of our kitchen to welcome the newest member, and joining my long list of high tech kitchen appliances is the Panasonic Cubie Oven.

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After using the Panasonic Cubie Oven for a week, trying out its different functions: I can now share with you some of the pros and cons of this device. The first thing I did with this, of course, was to steam a fish. Before this, I shall mention that Kevin and I had a debate on whether it’s possible to do a whole fish seeing it’s much smaller than our oven. Turns out, it might be compact, it’s definitely spacious enough to cook a good sized fish!

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Fish on the side for comparison. Turned on the steam mode to check how it works and prompted geeked out haha. More on that later.

Since we had a Tilapia in our freezer waiting to be used, what better to share our current favourite recipe?

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This dish is inspired by the famous Lan Jie restaurant which has numerous branches across Klang Valley. This restaurant specialises on Steamed Tilapia. In fact, that’s all everyone eats when they are there. Its concept is that everyone gets a fish each. You can choose the level of heat and that’s about it. Yet it’s the burst of flavours due to the super umami toppings that makes the dish so enjoyable.

The recipe is simple, so it’s important that the quality of the fish is good. The recipe I found was shared by Kimberly (Hi Kim! BTW I’m still following your blog religiously. Closet fan here haha). Actually, I couldn’t tell for sure if it’s exactly like Lan Jie because I always go for super spicy so it kinda drowns out everything else. But this recipe is tasty enough.

Lan Jie inspired Steamed Tilapia

1 Tilapia (I used a Red one, Lan Jie uses Black)
1 thumb sized ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chilli padi
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Soy Bean Paste (Taucu)
1 splash of Shao Xing Wine
Spring Onion and Coriander to Garnish

1. Heat a pan with a neutral oil. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add soy bean paste, soy sauce and Shao Xing wine and stir around for 1 minute until the sauce is nice and combined. Add chilli and then turn off heat (beware of the cooking fume… it’s pungent!).

2. Prep the fish as usual, making a few shallow slices across the body. You might want to quickly blanch it if you are worried about the muddy taste. If the fish is super fresh, it should be ok though. Place the fish on steaming dish. Once the sauce is cooked, poured it over the fish.

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3. Set the Panasonic Cubie Oven to Steam Mode – Medium, and set the timer to 15minutes. Or select Steamed Fish from the Auto Cook Menu (which is number 1) and put in the weight and press start. Then just watch the cubie work its magic!

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The Cubie Oven has a water tank on the top right corner which takes up to 600ml of water (cold, tap water will do. Never mineral water). During the steam mode, it basically squirts out water to a small sink then heat it for the evaporation. Kinda cool watching it work and in fact, I was totally geeking out during the first few times.

So I’ve tried both the Auto cook mode and Manual input and both works like a charm. The fish came out perfectly cooked!

And of course, to steam this normally, either do it traditionally over a wok (or whatever steaming device you have) for 15 minutes on medium heat.

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5. To serve, simply garnish with spring onion and coriander… and extra chilli if you like. Serve with plenty of rice!

Steaming food is a breeze with the Cubie. The only downside is that you do have to do a proper wipe down after it completely cools down because the water tends to pool at the bottom, even though there’s a drip tray at the front and bottom part of the oven (which should also be clean every time after use). Basically, it’s important to be diligent with cleaning to prevent limestone build up.

For more information on Panasonic Cubie Oven, hop over to their website, or check out Panasonic’s facebook page.

Weekday “Fantastic Feast” at Dynasty Restaurant, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur

Though they have converted to a Pork-free restaurant, Dynasty Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur shows no sign of slowing down with revamping their menu and constantly create hype by creating attractive promotions. This time, the promotion is super competitive, offering half priced dim sum (lunch) as well as a 4-course menu at only RM49.90nett per person (lunch and dinner).

Chef Kok Chee Kin who has masterfully helmed the kitchen through his unfailing adherence to Cantonese cuisine’s principles vows to treat his guests to an interesting array of dishes that are light on the palate while emphasizing on a distinct primary flavour of the main ingredients used.

We were invited to sample some of the dim sum items and also feasted on the 4-course menu, specially picked out to showcase their signature dishes. Let’s start with dim sum!

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First, the Emerald Dumplings with Scallops. By no mean an ordinary piece of dim sum, even comes with bonito flakes for that bit of Japanese fusion. The skin is thin enough with a slight chew, which is interesting. Love how they are generous with the filling and I could definitely taste the scallop.

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Steamed Rice Flour Rolls with Chive and Shrimps or simply known as Cheong Fun. The skin is a little on the thick side here. I’d stick with other items on the menu. Like the next one.

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Bean Curd Rolls with Cheese. Definitely a hit. Crispy skin, bouncy and juicy prawns and the delightful oozy cheese.

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Fluffy Buns filled with Barbecued Chicken (Char Siew Bao). Pretty good, even to a non Char Siew Bao eater. The filling is spot on.

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Crystal Prawns dumplings with Asparagus. Compared to the rest this was a little plain in flavour, but also the most traditional tasting. Asparagus added a little extra crunch.

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The Fried Taro Puffs were excellent, with all contrasting textures and great tasting filling to complete the experience.

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The Egg tart has extra creamy custard, not too sweet, and perfectly flaky crust. Yum.

The Renaissance team always strives to overfill their media guests and this time was no exception. Our 4-course meal arrived in full portions!

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For the first course, you get to choose a soup dish; and we got the shredded duck broth with chives. Very rarely do I get a duck soup in a Chinese restaurant so this was a pleasant surprise. Love the umami, slightly smoky flavour, freshened with the addition of chives.

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Second, out of Fish and Poultry category, we received the Stir Fried Grouper Fillet with Spring Onion and Ginger. Very simple and straight forward combination, that’s why it’s guaranteed to taste good. Kevin took an extra serving of spring onion and the ginger went to me. The fish was perfectly flaky and soft.

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For the Carb option, we got the Cantonese Wonton noodle with honey glazed chicken and vegetable. The Chicken char siew was really nice actually, with just the perfect amount of fat. I guess they used mostly thigh for this. But the noodles were a little overcooked. But hard to blame them since they had to cook such a large portion for us.

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I mean look at this? This is more like One Tonne noodles! We could barely scrape the surface. Like I said, they really overestimate our eating abilities. Because there was an extra dish for us!

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So if the 4 course isn’t enough for you, you can also add on another signature dish with a discounted price. We got the Pan seared stuffed Scallop (RM48 instead of RM88). But this dish was probably the best out of everything we had that day, so was worth it lah.

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To end this feast we had the Herbal Jelly with Honey. The perfect dessert to cool down.

This promotion is currently available, until 29th August, every Monday to Friday.

Located on Level 1, East Wing, Dynasty Restaurant is a beautiful Chinese restaurant with great ambience in the lovely Renaissance Kuala Lumpur open daily for lunch from 12.00noon to 2.30pm and dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.

Dim Sum breakfast is served from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Sundays and Public Holidays, dinner hours are as usual.

To discover more or to make a reservation, call at 03 2771 6692 or email
rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com

For more info/promotions, check out Renaissance Kuala Lumpur’s Instagram @renaissancekualalumpur and @dynasty_kl
or Facebook www.facebook.com/RenaissanceKL and
www.facebook.com/DynastyKL

Panasonic Cooking Workshop: Creating Colourful Flavours

It seems that everytime I’m at a social event, someone is bound to come up to me with these “I have not seen you for the longest time! Where have you been?!”. Well, I have not disappeared, just that I have not been receiving much of invitations to these (*hint**hint*), and frankly I’m not that interested in meaningless activities when I could be doing something else more interesting, like watching Netflix (hehe). But if it’s a cooking workshop, you bet that I’ll try my best to get there.

Well, the stars aligned last week and I had the opportunity to attend a cooking workshop hosted by Panasonic and Le Creuset at the Panasonic Home2Com Solution Center. The workshop was held in conjunction with the release of the Panasonic Cubie Oven.

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Cubie? What a cute name right? Stems from the term “cubical”, with connotations of “small and compact” in its size, the design of this oven is focused on assisting young and urban families to make quick and healthy meals.

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With this oven, we can use different modes such as steaming, healthy frying, baking (roasting) and fermentation. Amazing right? Well during the workshop we had a couple of dishes to make, guided by Chef Chin Pei Ling, who has a hand in creating many dishes using the Cubie.

We first started with our dessert, the Mango Passionfruit Crumble. Interestingly this is a combination of cake and crumble so we had to do the cake base first.

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Cake base was very standard, beating the sugar and butter together until pale, then add egg, vanilla extract, milk and then flour and baking powder.

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Handmixer makes it so much easier.

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Look at everyone focusing on their creation.

The next 2 steps included mixing cut up mango with sugar, corn flour, lemon juice then top with some passion fruit. Great tropical flavours.

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The 2 Kellys at work. At that stage, we already had the fruits on top of the cake base and I was getting started with my crumble.

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With the crumble, it’s just mixing the flour, rolled oats, almond flakes, sugar and melted butter until crumbly and then spoon over the top.

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Check out our beautiful Le Creuset Mini Cocottes! Love the candy colours.

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Time to send it into the Cubie! Using the convection mode we baked this for around 25 in 180C. Preheating was done prior to this (not all modes requires preheating by the way)

We then moved on to our main course, Roasted stuffed Chicken with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Seasonal Root Vegetables.

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Chef making our Sundried tomato pesto, plenty to go around in the group.

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While we busy ourselves cutting vegetables…well… and taking photos.

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Expertly tying the chicken up. Haha. The pesto was spread on the meat side of the deboned chicken thigh and then asparagus, mushrooms and carrot placed on top.

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Final Seasoning! This time we used the Le Creuset Rectangular Dish to house the veggies and the chicken. This is a great size for couple portion.

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Before roasting the chicken, my dessert has to come out! Looking good! The Chicken is roasted at maximum heat, 230C for around 25 minutes as well for a beautifully browned top.

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Not long after, our chicken is done too. Can finally let my hair down, literally.

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Gorgeous!

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It sure was a useful and informative little workshop, although it would have been useful to include other functions of the cubie too as I was most looking forward to seeing how the steaming function works. But nevertheless, the demonstration of the oven was helpful for us to understand how a compact oven could work for a small size family. The chicken was devoured straight away by Kevin and I but I had dessert for days!

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Err… just a testament of my social awkwardness haha.

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We each received a lovely bouquet from Happy Bunch for attending the workshop, how thoughtful!

Well, now that I have my own Cubie oven, I’ll be sharing more recipes soon! Is there anything particular you would like to see?

For more information on Panasonic Cubie Oven, hop over to their website, or check out Panasonic’s facebook page. Thank you Panasonic and The Cooking House for a fun workshop!