土曜日, 4月 30, 2005

Jom paruk!: Waffles at Hercule

it's a sign of the stomach of chaos' food review going downhill. blurred pics and all. but i just have to say that since this is the best place to get belgian waffles in this neck of the woods, i'd still do one! hercule is a small place, which probably fits, at most, 25 patrons. it's located in crookes, a student-y part of town.Blurred banoffee. you know the kind of place that people flock to where you can't get parking/seats, but the allure of the food is just too great? this is one of them.

the waffles come with different accompaniments. the best is the banoffee. not a factory-made banoffee kind, but freshly made with bananas, caramel and vanilla ice cream to boot. crispy gold on the outside and simply soft and sublime on the inside (armadillos! kidding.). i'm simply a sucker for the hot and cold combo in desserts. other waffles available include the chocoholic (*leleh*) and vanilla. they also do great fry-up platters for breakfast. as these aren't the usual american waffles (them large a&w types or the eggo ones that you get in the supermarket), they don't offer a maple syrup option.Bikin kopi. however, they were happy to oblige with providing me with some lyle's golden syrup with two plain waffles at breakfast one morning, which was absolutely kind of them, even though it wasn't offered on the board!

other options available are your otherwise usual run-of-the-mill baguettes and provencettes (their pepper, mozarella, onion and tomato one is simply yum), all made to order for eating in or take away.

金曜日, 4月 29, 2005

Mari kita bergoyang, ya!

yesterday afternoon saw idlan making a desperate plea for me not to join the dark side.Tabla out and ready to go! with the current malaise of the malaysian music scene, what do you expect?

no, it's not joining the ranks of palpatine et al. it's dangdut.

listening to project pop's hilarious take (MTV asia took it seriously though -see april 27's entry) on the kampungan genre sparked an interest in checking it out. i (err..) googled inul daratista (the ultimate dangdut sex goddess this side of banjarmasin. and daratista means big cajones, by the way... if you know what i mean) and found a few interesting articles, surprisingly, from time magazine and the UK's guardian! and she's famous for drilling. not in the renovating-your-patio sense.

read about inul and her 'drill' here and here. ah! ah!

木曜日, 4月 28, 2005

I'd like to thank my cat...

Binafshabrother gua, trabye, has got one of his productions, waheeda's binafsha, nominated for best ethnic pop album in this year's AIM (malaysia's own grammy). previous winners include the likes of yasin and tan sri s.m. salim.

the awards show will be aired live this saturday at 8.30pm on ntv7. heartiest congratulations on your nomination and good luck, bro'! (korang pakai apa itu malam?)


addendum: a reason why i bought only indonesian and japanese cd's when i was in kl recently - read daryl goh's take on the current music scene in malaysia here.

水曜日, 4月 27, 2005

Dangdut is the music in my iPod

The delectable Deunan Knute.it's been a while since i've regularly blogged. life's a little busy lah.

i'm still in my post-balik malaysia blues, although i don't exactly have jet lag anymore (gone in 2 days - in record time, as far as i'm concerned). my daily dose of music is still asian, namely indonesian and japanese (nothing worth getting lah, malaysian band-wise, this time). thanks to menon, i'm checking out aikawa nanase. been downloading other stuff the likes of koda kumi and older ayumi hamasaki material. thanks to limewire (with a lil' help from a codger down in the smoke), i'm checking out ghost in the shell: stand alone complex (14 episodes to go).Image hosted by Photobucket.com i've also got the newer SAC 2nd gig episodes to check out as well!

last night, i finally got to finish watching appleseed while doing a spot of ironing. dang, it was good. to any mecha/scifi-loving anime freak, i'd strongly recommend it. way better than the older version.

speaking of indonesian music, i just got whiff of this song from some guys called project pop titled dangdut is the music of my country. i'm sure the lot of you down nusantara way have heard of this song as MTV asia airs it now and then (the song's been around since 2003). it's infectious and i've got it on my iPod now. and i thought the video was flippin' priceless. check it out, if you haven't already!

火曜日, 4月 26, 2005

The smiling civil servant

"Reminiscences are always happy; they rejuvenate us, and give us a wish to relive the glorious days of our youth. It is wonderful how lasting strong impressions can be. Little boyhood incidents, the names and eccentricities of friends, school activities, outstanding sports event, peculiarities of teachers and all things connected with college life comes refreshingly to the mind many years after."

-YM Raja Kamaralzaman ibn Raja Mansur, CMG OBE, RDHPk
MC magazine 1950, pp 58-64

when i was in kino during my short break, i bought a book marking the centenary of malay college kuala kangsar. now, before anyone makes a comment how tired they are of another pro-koleq blog entry, i'd like to say i'm not a product of the said boarding institution. it was a place i would have loved to go to (i went to a better school in the end -haha), after much encouragement from my late mom (who was a STFian - the durian daun, melaka one). she would tell me of how being in boarding school would help guarantee me a scholarship to pursue my studies in england. it's pretty much every parent's wish. to see their child get a good start in life.

anyways, back to the koleq 100 year book. i bought it to see if there was any mention of my grandfather. i never knew him as he died 8 years before i was born. all i know about him are stories from my dad, uncles and my late pah. another thing i knew about him was that he was one of the first students in koleq. he was in fact the first head boy. i couldn't check out the contents as kino had it wrapped in frickin' clingfilm. much to my dismay, it was merely a collection of articles from the malay college school magazine and MCOBA newsletters. that was until i found out that the first entry in the book was by my grandfather!

his english was, first and foremost, i have to say, impeccable. it was written by him when he was already the raja di hilir of perak in 1950. i found after reading the page and a half of a description of how he started life in a boarding school (one that was made of a long wooden building with a thatched roof then) that his english was typical of that of a well-educated englishman. apart from being headboy he was also the captain of the malay college football team. he was a dab hand in sports as well, and i didn't know that! i knew that my dad and his many brothers were avid sportsmen (my dad played rugby - the gene of which i didn't inherit!). my dad had never described my grandfather in that light.

A valuable old photograph of the team with fellow students standing behind, and taken directly in front of the thatched-roof school is one of my proudest possessions. -Raja Kam (he's the reclining captain at the front!)

he was born in kota lama in 1892. after leaving the malay college, he joined the malay administration service in 1910 and then onwards was district officer in places as wide-ranging from bentong to seremban. he was a raja bergelar by the time he was 41 (the year my dad was born) and later, third in line to the throne of perak in 1948. my dad described him as a strict paternal figure, akin to the types in victorian times. firm but fair. known as raja kam by his friends, he was a humble man who was forever smartly dressed, never forgetting to wear a hat when venturing out to the new club in the taiping sun. he was to be knighted by queen elizabeth II in 1955 (the first perak malay to be knighted was his uncle, raja sir chulan, who was knighted by king george V in 1930) but he went as far as saying to his children: "ayah selalu dok jalan pegi changkat jering, dok beli belacan, pekasam... tak mau lah sir-sir ni!". his lack of enthusiasm to face another trip to london resulted him in receiving only the CMG (companion of the order of st. michael and st. george, as opposed to KCMG - knight commander of the order of st. michael and st. george). he died in taiping in 1962 after suffering a stroke.

an article in a 1960's issue of the history of malaya described him as "the smiling civil servant". even to the end of his days, his family and close friends would still see the smile despite his facial paralysis. i hope i have, at least by now, got to know more about my grandfather and some aspects of his life, even if it means getting to know him better from a chapter in a book.

水曜日, 4月 20, 2005

They happen in 3's

first, my dialup was down due to my own over-enthusiasm in making some changes on my account. second, after successfully achieving the status of hidup di abad ke-21 (i got meself a 2.2 mbps internet connection), my spanking new acquisition died-ed just as i finished updating my XP (BIOS punya hal).

now, it's back to the notebook. *sob*

what'll happen next ah?


postscript: april 21, 1845hrs - after resigning to reformat the HDD, a miracle occurred. thanks for your suggestions and patience, trabye! now i can see ayumi again. *sigh*

Well, some people like Siti. HIDUP J-POP!

火曜日, 4月 12, 2005

Back in the USSR UK

Balik kampung.i'm back. at jim's place at the mo' and just passing the time before i take the midland mainline to steel city. again, i have post-malaysian break depression. again, it'll be a month of layan jet lag, nasi goreng bekal to work and malaysian (more like indonesian) music before things are back to normal.


since i was busy with enjoying myself in KL, subsequent updates in this chaos of a blog will be dated anytime between 1 and 10 april. so, turun bawah to see 'new' stuff.

月曜日, 4月 11, 2005

Jom paruk!: The Bifstik

Kena pakai bib for this.i love steak.

my family love steak. as i've mentioned before, as a family, we don't venture out of the comfort zone. we stick to our regular haunts. when steak is concerned we favour victoria station at medan damansara (we used to go to the ship, but not anymore). we love it so much that i even treated my dad to steak au poivre the night before he was admitted for heart surgery! hehe.

all three of us love 'em medium. it ain't blood, just the juices from the meat (that's what i feel like telling the patron on the table next to us but that would mean i have go to down to the level of a kepohchi). i absolutely love sizzling steak. no special reason really, that has been my choice ever since i was a kid. also probably because of coliseum cafe, as well as i've never seen it being served here in an english eaterie. i've been told that i should try the u.s. cut which costs an absolute bomb (unless i convert RM to sterling. another hehe.). also, apparently san francisco steak house serves real mean ones too. so, next time i'm in KL, siapa mau ikut?

by the by, i know airline food isn't anyone's cuppa tea, but this time their steak was so not up to mark (i used to get 'em at least medium well last time!). and for more food-related stuff from this KL trip, go to my fotopage.

Mentari merah at Karya Enigma, KL

...and dua talam apam balik with four bottles of fresh air tebu. Oh yeah!

日曜日, 4月 10, 2005

All the way from Bumi Kenyalang

These women can rock.

tok tok siok
siok matuk padi
amba kube os
kaii nuh tian padi da dawan

tok tok siok
siok matuk padi
tayung ku aji
aji ngagau king ngi
da bangih sungi

©1998 copyright controlled

金曜日, 4月 08, 2005

Souled out

on the way home, i was listening to xfresh.fm, a radio station dedicated specifically to malaysian music. i was listening to an all male group doin' their hip-hop / R'n'B infused thang, complete with vocal harmonies. the song was in bahasa malaysia which was great as i think we shouldn't give the usual bahasa-just-doesn't-do-it-for-{insert genre here} crap any more. i can't remember the name of the group, but one thing that stuck to my mind on listening to that track and the subsequent tunes that was aired that afternoon.

i had to endure the music.

we have fresh new talent with great ideas, but why don't these guys sound like they just didn't reach the mark yet?Watch this space! i'm not shooting these guys down, but on a scale from 0 to 10, they were giving an 8 when we know they could do a 15. again, i strongly emphasise that this is not a malaysians-can't-do-shit entry. we know full well what we are capable of, but when the wrench is thrown in the works by the powers-that-be (i'm not talking about the government!), we could only give a sigh of dismay. we do have great artistes, but only a handful. creative people are perceived to be bigheaded are then shot down prematurely. that happens when we have people with a cukup makan attitude wielding the rifle. i just wonder whether there is anything wrong with being a perfectionist. just listen to their work, man. simply flawless.

all we ask, as music lovers, is that people do a little homework. we can't just be prog rock or dancehall ska or hip hop on the surface. point taken that we were never brought from africa as slaves later to be downtrodden by the system to have the blues, but if white working class londoners can do it in the 60's, so can we.

homework, people. and add real soul, while you're at it.

Laporan kotaraya:

Beli buku?

the shopping mall.Ampang Complex. they are everywhere, as for a lot of malaysians, the mall is such a necessity. everyone has their own favourite. one mall that i used to frequent as a kid in '70s bangsar was ampang park. my dad told me that it was the first ever mall, or shopping complex rather, in kl. in those days there was also the weld (which shut down only to be reopened as a more upmarket version in the early 90s) that had a cold storage supermarket. to those who could really remember, near the weld was a supermarket called fitzpatrick's and on jalan mountbatten (now jalan tun perak) was this departmental store called robinson's (where i got my first ever crayon set). i'd say that we malaysians started early in the shopping mall department.

Kosong sekosong-kosongnya.today, malls are sprouting on every available land space in kl. i was just at the curve today when i thought to myself that it's bad enough ikano is just next to it, not counting the much lauded one utama (a surrogate klcc suria for taman tun-ites, and i don't care if people do think that we are peghak - ie people-under-tempurung types - for not having to venture out from an area with a two-mile radius), i saw the kopitiams (one of which was reviewed here) and a small potpourri of western eateries. the only one that caught my eye was the marche movenpick. i first saw one of these in amsterdam where you literally could select fresh produce only to have them cook it any way you like. pity i was too kenyang from the ikano foodcourt yakitori combo to try it out.

during this short break, i find myself gravitating to the malls of my yesteryears, the bukit bintang and sungei wang plazas.Jalan Bukit Bintang. how can i not be there if it wasn't my for my recent obligatory IT purchases at the ubiquitous low yat tech shops. in its heyday, sungei wang boasted an ice-skating rink on one of its floors. ella once held a gig on the plaza rooftop. our family for some bizarre reason, would opt to have our occasional KFC meals there of all places. the adjoining bukit bintang plaza, on the other hand, had one of the first metrojayas. in those days, the lure for me was solely the kenner star wars action figures. today, despite of their less upmarket nature as compared to even their next door neighbour, lot 10, these malls are still thriving. there are clothes galore which are cheap and chic. i was shown a place where you can buy clobber cool enough for onstage live music performances. no need to buy dolce and gabbana to look like jon bon jovi one aaa. there were loads of tourists, as i'm sure they find the more sterile and upmarket stores at klcc too similar to those found in london, sydney or new york. i also find the jinjang hairstyles not too jinjang nowadays. hell, i'm sure you can get one of those jinjang cuts at toni & guy. pirated stuff (dvd and ps2 games) today were sold pretty much more in a cloak and dagger style due to daily operasis by the ministry of trade and commerce.

another place that i will never miss to visit is the good ol' pertama complex. when i was in school, i could get original imported rock tees at a shop called oazy for like fifty bucks. the things you wear to achieve some level of respect at school (tee shirt tak double sided tak main lah). pertama is notorious to get pau-ed (mugged) so we usually travel in packs then.Yeah, yeah, yeah... now, i come here to get my regular supply of local alt-rock act cd's at victoria. the selangor camera shop on the ground floor does good deals too, ask for johnny teh (you won't miss him!). and where else can you get a RM5 jeans alteration service? food-wise, despite the dingyness of the food court, i think they have one of the meanest ice kacangs in town.

i did go to klcc, just the once this afternoon for dinner. had the typical empat ringgit setengah food court hainan chicken rice (can lah). dropped by kino and bought some books by hamka and ahmad patria abdullah despite the fact that i have a shelfload of stuff i still haven't read (see my current book on the sidebar - like how long it's been there?). i like the place but i do find that i don't really go to KLCC that often when i am home in KL. probably i'm exercising my taman tun peghakness.

Boom tish boom tish boom tish!there were a few of things i saw that i'd like to share. one, is this cool drumming game analogous to the dancing one, also by konami. cool or what?

this guy was blazing, getting perfect scores all the way. the next neil peart? not.

the novelisaton for episode iii is out on hardback. saw it in kino. i find it easier in this day and age to exercise some restrain. i will wait for may 19. gosh, i remembered as a 13-year old reading the return of the jedi novel, during prep, before the film came out, going, "yes! i knew that darth vader is luke's dad!', and, "what? leia is luke's sister?!! ewww!". and i don't really want to how in how many pieces is obi wan gonna chop lil' annie into.

木曜日, 4月 07, 2005

Jom paruk!: Nasi kandar Kayu

stomach of chaos has to have a food entry when it's on holiday, hasn't it? well, i was thinking of reviewing the nasi kandar at the ss2 kayu (it has more branches in kl than pulau pinang). i was also thinking of showing a pic of the juiciest ayam goreng kunyit (dada) juxtaposed to a dollop of sayur kobis together with nasi putih drenched in a multitude of various gulai, topped with habuk from the ayam goreng and poppadoms. or discussing the merits or the futility of comparing different nasi kandar joints, may it be those in KL or the chowrasta market in georgetown (opinions are like bungholes, everybody has one). or describing in full detail the ecstasy of quenching my parched throat with teh o ais after a plate of the aforementioned nasi and lauk combo.

well, all i have for this entry is this (sorry, lisa):


火曜日, 4月 05, 2005

Hujan di Kuala Lumpur

i had been unwell this past couple of days, courtesy of a certain gravy that came from a certain chicken dish at a certain ampang food joint. and to think that i returned to it to reminisce about the old days. i was so disappointed.

Jalan Sultan Ismail.

here's to healthier days.

Kalingga Traffic

“It’s been too long. The (jazz) world needs it. The (jazz) world needs us.” -The Neon

Again, not available in shops!"Comfortable in flannel pants and a t-shirt with a trout emblazoned across the chest, Lmsn Rds gets mentally situated for the oncoming barrage of questions. The hottest jazz property since the decline and eventual demise of the great Miles Davis, Neon Radius braces themselves for scrutiny.

Sitting quietly in the corner behind a chestnut-coloured piano, The Neon seems to be lost in a cool trance, squeezing out sweet lines from the wooden behemoth.

“Don’t try to start him on a conversation. He’ll be a downright bitch. Let him just play”, quips Lmsn with a cynical smile.

As yet unreleased, the band’s second single has managed to cause somewhat of a stir amongst jazz enthusiasts thanks to the exclusive previews to A&R execs and the press. This time around, the band comes full circle with the inclusion of Kudo Shanker and Albert Bakansing, who, along with King Mahafaizal and The Squid, makes up new The King Mahafaizal Quartet.

“No boundaries. That’s what this is. Geographically and musically. He (Shanker) flew in from Sheffield and we did it in just one take, y’know?”

The Neon being pensive.Backed by the usual suspects from their blistering tour-de-force debut single Just A Miles Away, the inclusion of Devi on vocals provided the much needed spark this time around. Her haunting, sultry voice speaks with unparalleled intimacy. Of course this is not to downplay the contribution of Albert Bakansing, a Sabahan native whose unadulterated mastery of the semputon brought to the table a feeling of primitive freshness, never before done in a jazz setting.

The feeling that one might get from the first helping of Kalingga Traffic is one of chaos. Not unlike its predecessor, Traffic is awash with cadence.Quenched. But underneath this, what some might deem, massive overkill, there is also honest delight. The reason for its title is obvious as these men attempted to document the hustle and bustle of Kalingga in the form of a 4-minute hot, tight aural package.

“I played this 1950's acoustic, which belongs to Shanker’s dad. Y’know, the kind with a zero-th fret? They don’t make ‘em like that no mo’. All through the track, I kept thinkin’ ‘bout all them peoples who had played the guitar. It’s got a legacy… heritage. A bit like jazz”, reflected The Neon on his way to a makeshift bar, abandoning the piano-tinkling for a glass of milk.

The track starts out with The Neon asking someone (the name seems to have been reversed on tape) to drive them. Well, maybe Neon Radius & The King Mahafaizal Quartet should take the driver’s seat and drive jazz out of its gloom. By the looks of it, I think they are doing just that.

- Jazz Cuisine Monthly, April 2005"

Kalingga Traffic by Neon Radius & The King Mahafaizal Quartet
©2005 Karya Merah Mentari

Lmsn Rds - electric guitar
The Neon - acoustic guitar
King Mahafaizal – bass
Kudo "The Shaker" Shanker – percussions
Jess "The Squid" Terr - drums
Albert Bakansing- semputon
and featuring Prakash Mahaganja on the tabla and Devi on vocals

日曜日, 4月 03, 2005

Lelaki mana ada langkah bendul, oi.

this is a new experience.

as a kid, i've frequented places like ipoh and taiping for family get-togethers, most of which revolved around weddings of cousins (most of my cousins are old enough to be my folks). being from a typical nuclear family, today is the first time one of us finally decided to settle down. and what an affair it was.

i arrived in KL on april fools' friday, only to be told that my job involved the DV camera. fine by me as i won't forgive myself (and neither will the family) if i dropped the sirih junjung or tepak, let alone the best kek coklat kukus known to (wo)man. my aunts from perak were basically sorting out the gifts and it was then that i learnt a few things and then some. i was simply amazed to see how efficiently they work. getting a tepak sirih decorated was like second nature to them as they chatted away. being a typical pathologist, the first thing that went through my mind when one of my aunts were cracking the areca nuts open was, "... hey, that's a sign of congestive cardiac failure (nutmeg liver)". the gambir was carved and the betel leaves cut into shape. and i learnt that within the box was rice with some money. money that amounted to the obligatory x RM and dua kupang lima duit. the gifts were then placed on talams which had a lavender theme overall. the malay royal colours were replaced by another's.

Preparations.Decorating the gifts.Tepak sirih dengan bunga-bungaan.

the best thing of all was that this atmosphere was not exactly foreign, only that it never happened within my own family. i could imagine my late mom fussing over the whole affair decorating if she was still around. being older now, i enjoyed the banter and jokes (lewd ones sounds really bizarre if they come from your aunts!). and when there was family, there was food.

Salinan pakaian pengantin lelaki.Click to see larger pic of the kenduri food we had.Paruk!

on the morning of the engagement, we had nasi lemak. yes, after a roti telur-teh tarik brekkie sesh. and this was after knowing we'll be eating at the house of my brother's fancee. fitness first, here i come. during breakfast, my brother gave a little taklimat, short of synchronising our watches, on how to get to keramat together and on time. i'd thought it'll be so much pressure but i've to say that, alhamdulillah, everything went right like clockwork. no janji melayus here (my dad takes pride in the fact that on his wedding day, "pukul 2 dah terpacak dekat depan rumah"). go figure. we arrived on time and we were given the warmest welcome any family could receive. the whole affair was brief and straight to point. my uncle played the role of the wakil on our side. he did great even when he almost forgot his own wife's name during the introduction part of the ceremony.Bling bling. dad shed a tear when my aunt slided the engagement ring onto the finger of the future new member of the family. of course, after the photo-taking session, it was paruk time under the marquee. we helped ourselves to some lovely kenduri food with my all-time favourite drink, the serbat. on my wedding day (whenever that'll be), the serbat has to be a tad pale (preferably red, although i don't mind green) yet still retains the sweetness of a full on serbat with a subtle hint of pandan essence. mingled with the other side and they were a lovely bunch, as we felt right at home.

as expected, when your younger brother is the one getting engaged/hitched, i prepared some stock answers, along with a smile (no sheepish grins), to the barrage of "abangnya bila lagi?".

good question, though.