Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fashionista's Movie Review: Step Up 3D

Watching this movie certainly highlighted the point that I'm no dancer. And also the other fact that these people take dancing very, very seriously.

Throughout the movie you'll see a lot of hopping and twisting and jumping and bending of bodies like its made out of plastic. Kinda like Kungfu without the fighting and blood and such.

Yup, this is what this movie does to you.

I had an opportunity to watch this movie during the weekend and I must admit, the music and the dance moves are simply amazing. Now, about the movie. As usual, all Step Up movies are the same, so once you've seen one, you've kinda seen it all.

It's a movie about a boy and a girl and they fell in love and then he finds out that the girl is the sister of his biggest rival (this is like the most predictable movie ever, right?) Anyways, the movie is very much into dancing and choreography so let me say that it is a highly entertaining movie and you should treat it as such.

If you are a fan of dance and choreography, I'm sure you'll appreciate the way the dancers are aligned together. Dancing in a group is not easy and the timing has to be perfect. And I would also have to commend on the way they added lights to their outfits thus making their dance moves even more impressive.

My verdict? Do go, well, why not? It certainly opens up your mind on the lives of dancers, their aspirations and their appreciation of the art of dancing.


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Fashionista's Review: Iftar at Grand Margherita

Breaking my fast at Grand Margherita is a must for me. It's a yearly event, and the hotel has certainly seen more than its share of our family moments together. And since I've been coming here for years, I have also kinda noticed that the prices for their buffet dining has certainly gone up over the years. Despite the increase in price (this year the price for their Macam-Macam Ada buffet is RM79 ++ per person) which will total to about RM90 nett. Kinda pricey for a meal, right?

My entree. Healthy right?

Anyways, to me breaking my fast at Grand Margherita is like a yearly tradition so we booked two seats for the weekend session. So, what did they serve? For one thing, they surely do know how to serve a LOT of FOOD! Unfortunately, most of the food served are similar to last year and the year before so if you've been to Macam-Macam Ada surely you'll know what're being served.

Hot and sour soup and Garlic Bread. The garlic bread is absolutely scrumptious!

So, what did I have? As usual, my starter was salad. The greens are not as fresh as BCCK I must say (and also not as much as BCCK), so I wouldn't recommend it. Then had some hot and sour soup and garlic bread to go with it. I must say that the garlic bread was absolutely delicious. So much so that I had to have two. It has just the right tinge of garlic with a bit of salt and the bread literally crumbles and you munch into it. I really, really love the taste of it in your mouth.

Raden looking famished. Sorry, had to snap it first!
Then I had my sushi. My must-have item at every buffet. If they serve sushi I would certainly take a bite. It was okay, not so out-of-this-world, on a level of 1 - 10 I would say it's a 4 or 5. By then I was already quite full (I don't each much, do I?) but I decided to give the stalls a walk-through just to see what's on display. So, if you're thinking of going, you'll find that there are lots of stalls focused on Penang food like Penang Assam Laksa, Char Kway Tiao; Indian food like Naan bread, Dhal and Chicken Masala; normal selection of steamed rice and dishes like Butter Prawns and such; and many others like Seafood Omelette, Ice Kacang, Roasted Lamb (hotels seem to like this, don't they?) Ice-Cream and desserts consisting of cheese cakes, sponge cakes, mousse, chocolate cakes and some array of traditional cakes like Selorot and Kueh Seri Muka.

I adore sushis. I really do =)
My verdict? I would have to admit that this year's selection (although it is similar to last year) it is yummier. Last year some of the food were a bit dry (I like my food to be fresh, succulent and moist) and this year proves that Grand Margherita does it well.
Me and my desserts. I simply can't resist a good dessert.
My recommendation? Only go if you can use Priority Card and get discounts. Otherwise, it is a bit overpriced cause if you're not a big eater like me, it's a shame to pay so much and eat so little.
xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fashionista's Movie Review: The Expendables

Had an opportunity to watch this movie over the weekend. I don't what has come over me, but I do know one thing, I've become lazy! Gosh! It's a BIG NO-NO to be lazy and of course I absolutely abhor lazy people but I feel slightly sluggish these past few days. It could be due to fasting but I seriously doubt it. Most probably it's the lack of sleep that's catching up to me.

So, instead of doing nothing (which I seldom indulge in) we (I mean me and my friend and not my alter ego) decided to go watch a movie. A lovely way to spend time without admitting that you've been doing nothing but watch the screen for the whole 1 1/2 hours or so.

This movie started with the crew (aptly named The Expandables) barging into a group of terrorists currently filming their latest ransom video on a group of civilians. All of a sudden without warning, the terrorists were ambushed by a group of men, demanding that they stop whatever they are doing and they will receive payment of USD 3 million. But no, the terrorists had to be greedy and demanded payment of USD 5 million. So, the shooting ensues and that is how the movie starts.

My verdict? Well, the movie is certainly gory but don't worry, there have been other movies which are more gory than this. It's filled with blood and spatter of more blood and a few bodyparts here and there. Certainly not for those who are faint at heart. What I can see from the movie is apparent is that Sylvester Stallone is grouping all the famous names in action movies like Jet Li, Jason Statham, and many others but their names elude me. Unfortunately, famous names are not enough to attract movie-goers. I felt like the movie was trying too hard, in a sense getting together all those famous names (even Bruce Willis and Arnold made a short appearance) but too much of a good thing is NOT a GOOD THING.

However, I do love the quirky dialogs, which made the movie kinda cute. I think the movie, is not bad but then again, the producers shouldn't really rely on big names to sell the movie. If a movie is good, people will go.

My recommendation? Go if you like action movies. I'm sure you'll like it. For those who are not into gory movie scenes, it's your call.

Have fun at the movies! Cheerio!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fashionista's Review: Iftar at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK)

I had been gushing about my buffet dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) for quite some time now on my facebook. Although BCCK had started promoting their buffet breaking fast sessions since last year, I had only grabbed upon the chance to attend this year as it seems like everybody is talking 'bout how good it it is and I've never even been there to sample all those delightful food!

My besties who came with me to break fast at BCCK for our first time.
First of all, the price. The buffet is priced at RM58 nett which is rather okay for me. It's actually in between the normal price that what most hotels charge nowadays so I'm not complaining. But what was a surprise for me is actually the way the whole breaking fast is conducted. Which is a first for me, but when I think of it, it was handled well but they could have done it better (in my opinion).

My entree. Salad and such. As my mum would say, 'you are what you eat'.
When I arrived, we were required to wait outside of the dining hall (which is kinda weird). We were only allowed to go into the waiting area a minute prior to Maghrib call for prayers. At the waiting area, there were dates, nuts and dried fruits. And when the call of prayer sounded, we were served with drinks (selection included Air Bandung, yogurt drink and such). Still we were not allowed to go in. We had to wait about 10 minutes before being allowed to the dining room. Still, pretty weird right? Well, that's what I thought at that time. It was only later that I discovered that they are promoting the healthy way of eating, so instead of gobbling everything the flashes in front of your eyes, you are supposed to sample food in small batches (or something like that).

My selection of dessert. I LOVE desserts!
So, what do you get from paying RM58? First and foremost, I must admit I absolutely love their salad bar. It has everything that I could ever ask for and more. I love the fact that their salad are ultra fresh (which is an absolute must for me) and the other fact is, there are so many condiments that could be thrown into my salad like fresh prawns, cold cut selections like chicken, beef and fish slices and not only that, they also have tempoyak, ulam, keropok lekor and keropok ikan (which is definitely not served by other hotels that I've been to so far).

A second serving of dessert. Did I mention that I absolutely love dessert?
You must be wondering about other selection of food right? Well, aside from the normal cordial drinks, they also serve fresh coconut juice (which I absolutely adore) and soya juice with cincau (the first time I was there, I forgot what they served on my second time there) and for hot drinks they do serve teh tarik, hot coffee, expresso and such. For the main dish, they serve the normal rice with a selection of Malaysian themes dishes like meat in soy sauce and fish in sour sauce and such. Other than that, they also serve two different types of soups (I had the opportunity of sampling Sup Tulang Kambing and Crabmeat Soup. Besides that they also have these nifty little stalls at the corner of the room serving stuff like Cucur Udang, Wantan Mee, Roasted Lamb, Chicken Kebab, Roti Canai, Waffles, Ice Kacang, Ice Cream and many more.

Me looking absolutely happy after breaking my fast. This buffet is definitely worth it! =)
Finally, the dessert section. They have a collection of cheesecakes, spongecakes, traditional malay cakes and fruits for dessert. And for the absolute chocaholic, you can dip your fruits in a chocolate fountain (the only other hotel that I know that has this is Hilton Kuching, but that's for another review later).
My verdict? Truly scrumptious! I absolutely love my time dining there. Although I don't like the idea of waiting a couple of minutes before being let into the dining area, but I love the spread and the selection of food. I would truly, truly go again if I can.
My recommendation? Go! Let BCCK surprise you as it did me. Go and have a wonderful time like I did =)
xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fashionista's Review: Iftar at Grand Continental Kuching

Had another opportunity to break my fast at a buffet spread and I am certainly not one who would miss out an opportunity like this. As you might have guessed, I am an absolute foodie. I love food, full stop.


I have always loved breaking fast sessions at Grand Continental simply because they have a good array of dishes and the price is right for me. Sorry to sound stingy but to me it's important to match the price with the quality of food, otherwise it would just be really wrong to me.

This was on our table. This looks like a bit too much

This year the charges are up (aren't they always are?) from somewhere about RM38 (if I'm not mistaken) last year to RM42 this year. The price increase is not so bad in my opinion.

Us waiting for Maghrib call for prayers

So, what did they serve? For RM42, the selection is quite decent in my opinion. I love the fact that they served traditional local Sarawak cakes and desserts like tapai, selorot and such (most hotels would serve you with cheesecakes and spongecakes, don't worry, these are available too during our session there). Another reason why I like Grand Continental is of course some menu are simply not available at other hotels, I still remember their Nasi Arab was simply scrumptious (but this was last year's menu, and wasn't available during our visit this year). This year the array of food has actually increased (in line with the increase of price, I must say). We were served with lamb chops and satay (plus satay sauce which was yummy), we also had Sup Tulang, Bubur Pedas, the normal array of rice, fried rice with raisins, fried noodles and of course main dishes of meat, chicken and fish (normal eastern and western style cooking, so I won't go into the details here). If you bother to stop by the salad bar, you'll also find that they serve rojak buah, ulam and umai (which I really liked since not many hotels serve this). For kids, they do have ice-cream, complete with chocolate rice, nuts, and such which is an absolute treat. And for the older generation like my Dad, they have hot tea and coffee (coz he always likes to end his meal with a hot cuppa).

My brother gobbling on Tulang from Sup Tulang

My verdict? I like Grand Continental, I really do. So, for you out there who's thinking bout bringing your family there, I'd recommend it since the price is really well worth the food and it really is suitable for every family member of every age. It serves the traditional Malay food for the older generation (like my grandma) and western and yummy-tummy food for our generation.
My recommendation? Do go. What are you waiting for? Make your reservations. Oppss, I forgot to tell you that there's a discount if there are more of you (unfortunately I don't know the numbers so you have to call and ask).


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fashionista's Review: Iftar at Dormani Hotel

My brother having dates to break his fast

Had the opportunity to break fast at Dormani Hotel with the family during the first week of fasting. We are definitely not your average run-of-the-mill family. First and foremost, we don't see each other as often as what most normal families would. My Dad works in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and my brother works in Puchong, Selangor. And my mum, although she works in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak but she flies to Kota Kinabalu every weekend for classes (like some sort of flying lecturer). So, you can say that we are a OneMalaysia family since one part lives in Sarawak, another in Sabah and another in Semenanjung Malaysia. But then again, we try to spend time together by getting together and the month of Ramadhan gives us the perfect excuse to sit down and have the occassional family meal together for iftar.

My cousin sampling some of the dishes

We decided to book a place at Dormani Hotel since we heard rave reviews about their buffet spread last year and decided to give it a go this year. For one thing, the price has sure gone up, last year it was about RM25 (if I'm not mistaken) but this year it's about RM38 per person. The buffet spread? Almost exactly like last year. Why the price increase right? Well, we had the normal selection of dishes with white rice, fried noodles or I think we had some sort of fried rice with raisins that day. Selection of drinks only included cordial drinks (with no hot tea or coffee, unfortunately). If you wanted hot tea or coffee, that will be an additional RM7 or RM8 depending on what you're ordering.

Desserts anyone?

The dessert spread was okay. However, since people tend to take more than they can eat during buffets, I found that by the time I wanted to have desserts, the yummy ones are all finished (aren't they always?) and what's left are the not so yummy-looking. But I did sample a marble cheesecake (the only one left on the platter!) and had some pudding.
Us waiting for Maghrib call for prayers before breaking for fast. Notice the array of dishes?

My verdict? I consider it to be so-so simply because, since they had charged 50% higher than last year, shouldn't the food be 50% more than last year? And what's the deal with no hot drinks anyway? What is a little coffee or tea at the side. This is a buffet after all.

So, my recommendation, only go if you feel that the budget fits you or if you like dining there.


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blog~Shop, Blog~Hop

It seems like the online business industry is mushrooming everywhere. So much so that I have had the opportunity to be tagged to so many stuff that I don't need and certainly not interested in, in Facebook.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against online sellers in any way. In fact, I would have to admit to the occassional splurge here and there, and online buying is certainly one of the alternatives to satisfying a need to shop especially when it's already midnight and all the stores are closed.

I would have to say that I do salute some of the online sellers that I have had the opportunity to do business with once in a while. Most of them really do treat their business as real as a brick-and-mortar shop and I do think that for some, they earn more than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. They update their products regularly, most at least once a week and for some, several times a week. They respond to customers orders really fast (which I really like and is a nice change compared to the snotty salesgirls that you meet in some high-end clothing boutiques), and the best part is, if you are really good (which translates into having the time to surf around and compare prices among the different online stores) you might get a really, really GOOD BARGAIN.

Okay, let me highlight one example in which I had the opportunity to not only be witness to, but I actually experienced the whole situation! There was this shawl which I really fancied. I was introduced to in Facebook by a close friend of mine (who also blog-shops, by the way), and at that page the owner (I presume) requested all sales be made to her blog site instead of Facebook. There is apparently a form that you have to fill in the blog. From that blog, I found that the price of the shawl is RM39 (not inclusive of postage which costs about RM5 per shawl). Luckily the shawl was sold out, otherwise I wouldn't have trolled through the net in search of another seller in my attempt of buying the shawl (I really fancied it, you see). Lucky me, I found another seller and surprise, surprise, the price of the shawl was RM25 (at another blog-shop, also not inclusive of an RM5 postage fee). Wow! An RM14 difference for the same shawl?! I was over the moon and immediately made my purchase. A few days later, I received the shawl (and was obviously very pleased with the fast delivery and how beautiful the shawl is in real life compared to on the Net) so I decided to make another purchase. But this time, I decided to look through Facebook to the page of this seller whom I have ordered shawls a couple of times before. And imagine my surprise when this seller offered the same shawl at a price of RM20! OMG. Almost half the price of the first seller. The best part is, the same seller will be giving me a discount as I am considered a regular customer since I have bought with her before. How cool is that!

The ironic thing is, the first seller, selling at RM39 per shawl had sold out all her shawls. The other two sellers selling both at RM25 and RM20 respectively did not. Why are people more willing to buy something at twice the price? From my point of view, the first seller had better photos and are therefore able to present her goods in a better light than the other two. Funny, isn't it? How by packaging your product well, you get to sell it at a premium. By showing the product in a way that doesn't highlight the beauty of the product, you get to sell at a cheaper price but still do not sell as compared to the first seller.

My advice to all sellers out there, showcase your product as a superstar. It only takes one glance at your product to determine whether the customer wants to BUY your goods or NOT.

In support of online-shopping, Cheerio!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Friday, August 20, 2010

Proverb; Or so they say

Sai Weng Shi Ma, Yan Zhi Fei Fu


Frontier Old Man Lose Horse, Yet To Know Not Blessing

If this is a proverb, it sure sounds very cryptic. Puzzled as I was, I found out that there is actually a very simple meaning to this proverb. It is actually a very old Chinese proverb, taught to me by non other than my Mandarin "Lao Shi" (which means teacher by the way).

There is a story to the proverb. A very, very long time ago, there was an old man who lived by the border part of China. As y'all know, in the olden days, living by the border means than you might be susceptible to attacks now and then. This old man reared horses and one day, one of his horses went missing. The whole village was in uproar over the missing horse and being nice and caring villagers that they are, they all decided to visit the old man and of course to help out in any way that they can. To their surprise, when they muttered words of sympathy to the old man, the old man looked pretty calm and was not even showing the slightest remorse over the lost. Of course in the olden days, a horse was considered to be a prime asset indeed as it can be used to trade for meat as well as a means of transportation.

To the villagers surprise, the very next day, the lost horse came back and with it, it brought another five horses. Indeed the old man received a blessing for the loss as the horse brought back even more horses after it went missing. As the old man had five new horses, the old man's son decided to tame the new horses. Unfortunately, in the process of taming the new horses, the old man's son fell off the horse and was trampled. He ended up with crippled legs due to the accident. Once again, the villagers grouped off to visit the old man and offer him comfort. To their surprise (once again), the old man also did not show any remorse towards the condition of his son. Instead, the old man looked up at the sky and muttered about blessings in disguise.

True enough, a few weeks later, their country went to war and with that the government imposed a rule stating that all men (who are in good health) will be recruited for the army. And due to the accident, the old man's son was spared from leaving to war. Indeed the accident was truly a blessing for the old man and his son.

So, the meaning of the proverb after that oh-so-long lesson in history? Whatever that we lose, there might be a blessing in disguise and we might be better off (like the case of the old man) losing it.


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fashionista's Movie Review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Watched a movie about a nerd. Surprising how people nowadays are willing to pay to watch a movie featuring a nerd. And that crowd includes yours truly; I went, I paid, I watched.

A Disney film is always first and foremost, entertaining. After all, that is what most Disney films are all about. So, this movie is supposedly to be akin to one of Disney's masterpieces, Fantasia.

Imagine how surprised I was when the movie is not in the least like Fantasia and there was no Mickey Mouse in sight. Instead, we have Nicholas Cage looking all disheveled and bedraggled, definitely not in your average wizard attire.

So, what's my verdict? I'd say this movie is not really to my liking. Watch it if you like movies involving a lot of magic but then again, the movie didn't really intrigue me that much. I felt that the emotions were lacking, the actors (it could be due to the fact they are young though) were unable to bring the message across so to me it was a bit disappointing at times.

Anyway, if you like it (like some of my friends) then you will certainly will. Do not let my review stop you from watching a not-really-that-fascinating movie on sorcerers, magic and apprentice.


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Friday, August 6, 2010

Malaysian Theater Review: Cuci The Musical 2

How could you not fall in love with Afdlin Shauki's work? I love his work and adore his movies. Coupled with a completely non-threatening villain like Harith Iskandar, you have the perfect recipe for a great comedic play. Ooohhh, I almost forgot, Awie, you make a great mak nyah (your tone and body language is superb) and Hans Isaac, I really had to laugh whenever you snickered.

It is due to the two dynamic duo (although I am also not indicating that the other actors were not stellar in their performances, but these two are heavyweights in Malaysian comedy), I was absolutely thrilled when I found out that Cuci the Musical 2 would still be on during one of my trips to KL. So, in lieu of that, we decided to make the most of our working trip and bought three tickets to watch the musical.

FYI, this is my first time watching a musical and definitely my first time to watch a play at Istana Budaya. Gosh, you must be thinking that I must be living in a remotely island somewhere in the middle of the rainforest (which is where I am exactly, Sarawak is on an island covered by one of the world's oldest rainforest). Well, it is certainly not a first time for me to watch the theater though, I am no artist but I have starred in a play or two during high school. I was very much excited as I heard that the tickets are pretty much sold out. An indication of a good play is when the tix are sold out (or so I'm told). But don't be fooled peeps, that might just be a marketing ploy to get y'all to hurry and buy tix.

So, what's my verdict? For one thing, for a play, this is a very long play indeed. The whole musical lasts for about 4 hours, so if you've got to pee, you'd better make a beeline for the ladies prior to the show. But don't worry, there's intermission, so you can do you business somewhat two hours later.

One thing for sure, the musical will certainly get you up in your stitches in laughter. It is a wonderful, wonderful play. I love the show, not only due to hunky Hans Isaac (gosh, I adore him) but the movie actually tries to simulate everyday people in a normal everyday activities albeit in a not so normal manner that is ultimately very comical and hilarious.

If you are looking for a reason to laugh, look no more. I laughed for the whole 4 hours during the play. I really can't help myself. Sorry Afdlin, but you people are seriously very, very funny. And the best part is, I wouldn't mind watching it a second time. Gosh, I love art in any form.
For those of you who are contemplating in watching this play, oh please do. I truly recommend it. And for those who are not contemplating of watching, I'd also like to recommend it to you too. No, don't worry, I'm not getting any commission for promoting the musical.

Till next time, have a blast at the Istana Budaya peeps!

p/s: the main cast consists of Afdlin Shauki, Awie, Hans Isaac, Nabil (adik beradik yang tak sama mak bapak), Vanidah Imran (Mizzz CJ), Harith Iskandar (a villain named Wira, how ironic is that?), Jacqueline Victor (Jessie who adores banana fritters, wonder how she'll react to pisang goreng keju which is totally scrumptious), and Reefa (who acts as a manager, boyfriend, mc and mamak stall owner and being able to rap simultaneously).

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fashionista's Movie Review: Salt

How can anyone look so fabulous while being on the run?

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Yep, that is how Angelina Jolie is. Unfortunately for mere mortals like us, we are not blessed with smooth skin and perfect hair so we are left to make do with sweaty enlarged pores and dry flaky skin *loud sigh*.

Anyway, had the opportunity to watch this movie during the weekend and I was simply in awe of the stunt scenes and the twists and turns in the movie.

So, I'd better let you in on what the movie is all about, shall we? And by the way, the way Angelina looks after jumping from lorry to lorry is simply wrong. She looks so good after being flung onto the top of a lorry, how could your hairdo looking perfect?

The movie started with Angelina being tortured in a prison in Korea. Although she insists that she is not a spy, the movie revealed later that she is indeed a spy for the CIA. Then the movie started to introduce her husband and the life that she was living two years later.

All of a sudden a Russian spy came to confess that there is going to be a killing two days from now. A killing of the Russian president during the funeral of the vice-president of the USA. And the killer is Evelyn Salt. Definitely Angelina was surprised and shocked (by the way, she is surprised because she IS Evelyn Salt). All of a sudden she was running because she was afraid what would happen to her husband. And so starts the action, drama and suspense.

Overall, I would recommend the movie (not because Angelina Jolie is in it) simply because I love the storyline. I love the way how the plots change and the element of surprise in the movie. For me it was certainly a great movie to watch.

See y'all at the movies!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo