Thursday, May 31, 2012

Anglia Boutique - Fashion Option for Muslimah

As most of you would know, I do not write about fashion as my style are often laid back easy when i am not in working clothes - and many of you would know how i would wear my "uniform" to work.
I am a Cuff Person.
Last i mentioned anything fashionable was the opening of the latest Cats Whiskers outlet in Jaya One. On Saturday, while waiting for my appointment with Sakae Sushi (to review their new 2012 menu, read all about it here), i found out a buddy's wife has formed a partnership to open a boutique exclusively selling contemporary fashion items for Muslimah (Muslim ladies).
The boutique is known as Anglia - which successfully mixes the fashion to be both modest and has street cred. "Boring" is a past tense at Anglia. Previously only available in Singapore, they now have ten outlets in Singapore and Indonesia with a marketing office in Dubai and new counter setting up in Colombo. This contemporary label is now available in Klang Valley, specifically at Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya. Situated at the first floor of the mall, the boutique was opened for business recently with  both the partners in business being heavily involved in the daily operation and fashion.
Madam Rozita (my buddy Zailan's wife) and Mr. Nizar. Go to them for fashion advices.
If one care to observe, they will notice that Anglia offers a very muhibbah mix of fashion that will appeal to all major races in Malaysia. From my observation, the varieties will suit any official functions that requires elegant and yet comfortable non-pretentious wear. To say the least, i found the collection refreshing.
Contemporary abstract prints, art you can wear
Enjoy some of the photos taken from the shop. As there were customers in the shop when i was taking the photographs, i was being as discrete as possible, respecting the customers and their privacy.
Colorful ensemble suitable for all occasion
Below are some setup on mannequins in Anglia.
Sample of Jubah that ain't boring. Black is classic and subtle patterns made it classy
Pants and long sleeve blouse suitable everyday's wear for work or leisure
Customers to Anglia would be delighted to find a rack of men's shirt (short and long sleeves) which are made from the same quality material being sold. In fact, i was told that there are matching women-men setup that is very suitable to be used for event such as wedding. With that choice, couple do not need to visit the tailor to make matching clothing and Anglia might have a solution you can consider!
I do not mind pink. Real man wears pink.
Close up on the Men's shirt and fabric.
 Anglia was brought to Malaysia via the hardwork of both Mdm. Rozita and Mr. Nizar. Previously, Mdm. Rozita used to follow my buddy Zailan down to Singapore during his runs or races (Zailan run and bike) and frequent Anglia. So what started as a race support trip turns into a shopping trip that materialise to  boutique providing contemporary fashion that are both demure and classy without being predictable. More over the material used in each collection are of high quality cotton very suitable for our country's hot and humid weather. Prices ranges from slightly below RM90 to high RM300++. That is pretty comparable (actually Anglia is more affordable!) to some other more generic branded clothing store where a blouse could cost anything between RM200 to RM500.
The outlet in Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya
Anglia has a facebook page where customers could interact with the boutique. Find them here in Facebook and LIKE them. Alternatively, you can always be-friend Anglia Clothier here.
Don't forget to visit them when you drop by Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kiara Trail Run - Overtime and Magic Carpet

Kiara is a superb playground. Last Saturday, i ran from home to Taman Tun to meet up with a bunch of runners going into the trails to clean Kiara up. So, i ran a boring 4.5km from home to the park and that was when the fun begin. I had rode "Overtime" once before when it was still being built by hand and sweat. Almost a year later, Overtime has seen completion. With a decent length of about 1.3km, Overtime was built on a former construction dump site that has been "reclaimed" by nature. Judging by the size of the tree trunks, it is estimated to be about 7 years since it was abandoned. I had the pleasure of pacing with Charles Frew and Raymond Ng at their "comfy" pace for that short 1.1km distance that took me roughly 7mins 15seconds to complete. Overtime starts from the Park connector junction with Lung Buster and ends at the other end of the park connector closer to the tarmac.
1.1km of winding fun at Overtime!
This 1.1km provides enough undulating trail that will raise your HR from 110bpm to 160bpm within the first 200m. More so if you were chasing the like of Charles, which is a strong runner.
The next trail that we did was the Magic Carpet, which was the first to see destruction. Another 1.1km long, it has less bend and more straight that is compensated with a lot of undulating trails that make you gain and lose altitude (between 10-20m) fast.
You can see how the new Magic Carpet replaced the older (dotted line) below the orange track.

These trails were built by bikers using their funds and their sweat. The very least some of us runners could do is to help with the cleaning up as we are on two-feet that allow us to manoeuvre around easily. From the Magic Carpet video, you can see the anti-climbing fencing that stretches from one end to the other - and it makes you feel if there are "wild" animals that the park/authority/developer is trying to prevent from coming in.
Kiara will not be there forever - and i suggest that if you are reading this and feel that this place deserves to be preserved, please sign the petition here and help spread the words and raise the awareness. Continue to put pressure on these little Napoleons and make them realise that what they are doing is counterproductive. One can only hope - and by hoping, we all wish one day, these voices will be heard and appropriate steps will be taken to stop the destruction.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sakae Sushi New 2012 Menu

Sakae Sushi recently opened their 19th outlet in Malaysia at the spanking new Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya. It was also the location of the Review for the 2012 Menu that is being promoted by Sakae Sushi.
Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya. Photo from my Instagram
Sakae Sushi (pronounced as Saka-eh and not Sake) is situated at the Concourse of Paradigm Mall.
Between Coffee Bean and Italiannies

The event for Blogger started at 2pm and was hosted by Ms. Yew June and her team. Sakae Sushi recently unveiled its new and improved menu featuring 30 tempting new creations for their Japanese food lovers. Based on meticulous research and feedback from customers, the new menu features delicious new additions. The group of blogger were feted to nine new dishes. This review will concentrate on the nine items.
First up was the Kaisen Salad which is a tantalising fresh serving of Tuna flakes, prawns, snow crab leg (fillet) and salad in creamy goma (or sesame seed with mayo) dressing. The serving was sufficient for two person.
Could use a bit more Tuna. Otherwise, a healthy alternative. 
Next was an array of the individual offerings such as the Inari Avocado Ebi. It is succulent whole prawn mixed with delicious vegetables and salad dressing, wrapped in sweet bean curd skin.

As i am a lover of avocado, i find the serving portion of avos a bit disappointing. wished it had more.
Next was the Soft Shell Crab Maki that will excite everyone that loves soft shell crab. The crispy crab in sweet bean curd, rice and spicy mayo would make you want a second serving.
Ebi (prawn) lover should try Ebi Crepe that has whole cooked prawn wrapped in light crepe layer (made of eggs). I must say that the savoury taste with the crepe was a winner.
Touted as an intricately-designed roll of tempting grilled salmon, shrimp roe and mayo, the Sakae Blossom is a must try. I am a big lover of salmon and this roll satisfy part of my cravings.
Hana Maki is the best seller according to Sakae Sushi and it is easy to see why. With raw salmon wrapping the rice centre and topped with mayo with sprinkle of shrimp roe, Hana Maki is a winner. A serving comes in three maki and it might just not be sufficient...
Fans of Scallop will love Hotate Mentaiyaki. Half shelled scallop grilled in cod fish roe offers a tantalising experience. The large scallop was sweet and succulent and not overcooked. It would be interesting to see consistency of serving on the next visit.
The scallop i had was slightly larger than our 20sen (old coin), which was decently sized judging from the price of the dish. I believe the same scallop was used for the next dish, the Kaisen Pirikara Nabe. This dish is a serving (for two) that has prawns, cuttlefish, salmon, mushrooms, scallops and vegetable in flavourful Kimchee broth. It is served in a hot pot and perfect for both lunch and dinner.
Perhaps, this dish could serve three too, judging by how it filled my bowl. I however, did not manage to verify the amount of each items inside.
Back to the size of the scallop, here it is, compared to a 20sen. It could be larger than our 50sen coin looking at the photo again.
The last dish that was introduced to us was the Curry Udon. Essentially it is Japanese curry with wheat noodle and chicken slices. If you love your curry spicy, this will not satisfy your taste bud. Japanese curry are less pungent and perhaps slightly sweeter with a powdery texture. But the noodle was good. We were each given a serving and was told that a full dish could is a meal by itself.
The noodle texture reminds me of those homemade noodles my granma makes. Hokkien people could relate to it as those noodle made from eggs cooked in Hokkien style Egg Lorh Mee.
As a bonus, we were feted to a platter of Sakae Sushi own-made ice cream. I can only tell you they are superb. They were finished before any decent photo could be taken.
From front to back - Passion Fruit, Dragon Fruit, Matcha and Goma ice-cream. Mascot at the back can't be eaten.
The ice cream comes in four flavor namely the passion fruit, dragon fruit, matcha (green tea) and goma (black sesame). They price were alright though they were more of sorbet type (for Passion fruit and dragon fruit variants) of ice cream.
Always room for dessert
Some of us that has patronise Sakae Sushi would know how they leverage on technology in their outlet. The restaurant patented interactive menu that is fast and allow the customers to order directly also allows the diner to keep tab of their bill easily. In fact, they have upgraded to the Apple iPad which allows for a trendier (and up-to-date) dining experience. The interactive console acts as an advertising board for the Sakae Sushi offering as well as being a full on menu.
See only, don't try to bring back the iPad ok?
Along with these few technology advancement, Sakae Sushi has been very sensitive to the need of their loyal customers. The loyalty card, where diners could opt to become member, dine, collect points and redeem them for food. The points are as good as cash! For as little as RM20 for the membership card, one could enjoy a host of benefits.
More reasons to go, perhaps.
Taken from Sakae Sushi website here
One would agree that the most important criteria that separate a bad Japanese food with a good Japanese food is the freshness of the ingredient; and what separate the good with the superb Japanese food would be the affordability. Sakae Sushi borders at both GOOD and SUPERB with their choice ingredient and affordable priced Japanese food. I had a great time trying out the new menu and being a person watching what i eat, i could agree to the alternative carbs being served though i must ensure i burn them off later. With less processed food (such as the raw salmon and baked items), Sakae Sushi certainly offers a balanced, healthy and affordable Japanese food.
Colorful ending!
Thank you Sakae Sushi for hosting and the opportunity!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Save Bukit Kiara - Say NO To Development

Before you continue reading today's entry, May i suggest that you take some time to sign up a petition to save Bukit Kiara Here. If you do not know why you should be doing it, that is great, now read on.
Kiara Hill has changed within the past 3 month. The changes were scary and unwarranted. Most of you that follow my blog would know my love for this hill that is within running distance from my home (previously in Damansara Perdana and now in Damansara Utama).
Wifey having legit fun in the jungle.
No words can ever tell of my frustration and anger with what that has happened to Kiara. Perhaps i should start today's write up by showing a photo taken on February 4, when i lead a group of runners into Kiara.
Towards lookout point from Simpang Lima. February 2012. Pay attention to the two rubber trees on your left.
What used to be able to fit only three runners shoulder-to-shoulder has since turned into a "highway" able to fit more than 3 runners. It is sad to see the level of destruction that has happened.
The exact same route to lookout point. Take note of the rubber tree on the left for verification. The taller thinner rubber tree on the front has been removed.. I am not lying when i say the destruction is immense.
Sad day indeed. Myself, being regular in Kiara, was lost when i came down from Dirty Deeds. The level of destruction was as bad, if not worse. Here, a photo of my long time buddy Jimmy (which i have not seen since 1998?) doing a jump at the bottom of Dirty Deeds.
It was a small detour than the usual landing. You can already see the level of clearing at this point that was previously green!
Now, compare it to the screen capture below, that has wifey running down towards the end of Dirty Deeds.
The tree on the left is the same as the one shown in the photo above. Original video here
What has happened? Bukit Kiara is being raped as i am writing this at 1:47am on May 28, 2012. We first noticed how Magic Carpet route (one of the many trails in Kiara) was slowly having a portion cleared and anti-climb fencing was erected demarcating the "boundary" between what belongs to some developer and the Kiara Hill proper.

Not very Magic for long. If "dissappearance" is magic, then the developers are doing a great trick. Only thing, these trails ain't gonna come back anymore.
These anti-climb fencing - known by their moniker as "The Great Wall of Kiara" has been erected non-stop over the months and threaten to block off/cut off/limit access for the general public that has been using Kiara Hill as their escape from the weekday hustle. Bukit Kiara is a world class Mountain Biking Trails that provides highly technical challenge for all level of mountain bikers. In recent time, Hashers made Kiara an alternative running route while more and more trail runners has been frequenting the trails as their training ground - with some using it for more demanding races such as ultra-trail runs and non-stop adventure races.
Sadly, these will end soon if development continues to happen. So, if you have not sign the petition, i suggest you do so now. Petition to save Bukit Kiara Here Still not convinced? How about some images of "The Great Wall of Kiara"?

Singletracks and double tracks has since been bull-dozed and flatten by heavy machineries. Greedy contractors continues to fence Kiara and they will not stop unless something is done to stop them.
Soon, we will all be "locked" out.
I wanted to give them a piece of my mind. But these are workers earning honest living. It is not their fault. 
The workers seen above have been throwing rubbish all over Bukit Kiara. The group fo trail runners collected close to 15kg of used PET bottles and other rubbish, including laundry detergent bottles! Evidence of burning (burned branches and papers) could be found along the trail of destructions.

These bottles could potentially be breeding ground for Aedes and it is highly irresponsible for the developers to NOT educate their workers. But this is the least of the problem. Kiara is being destroyed and development is encroaching!
Lets hope they won't electrify the fences
From single trail to a 10-footer wide road. WHY?
The cause can't act alone and the cause is asking for your help. I hope that you will now sign the Petition to save Bukit Kiara. It will take at most 1 minute of your time - but that effort could possibly keep Kiara away from developers for the next 100 years. Do your part to preserves this green lung. Join the cause. Give all these development a thumbs down!
How many more will join us?
Please feel free to share this blog post and raise more awareness. Do not let Bukit Kiara be taken away by greedy developers. Do not let only the RICH exploits what belongs to all level of Malaysians. Do not let them take away what has been there all these while. Do it. Sign the Petition NOW!
There is already enough of developments for the rich around Hartamas and Mont Kiara. Developers SHOULD stop encroaching and take away all the green lungs in the name of "sustainable living". The above is an actual view of Kuala Lumpur taken from the Lookout Point - which will be fenced up within the next few days, if not within the next week. Photo from my instagram