November 20, 2017

Korea Drama Night with Sung Hoon

Fans of K-drama and K-pop rejoiced last month when Korean heart throb Sung Hoon came to Malaysia to meet the fans as part of his Global Fan Meeting Tour.

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) hosted the Korea Drama Night with Sung Hoon on 28 October 2017 at KLCC Plenary Hall. 1,200 free entry passes were given away to lucky fans to attend this event.

The actor, famous from his recent hit drama My Secret Romance performed songs together with his label mates from Stallion Entertainment; uprising K-pop group, The King and two rookie actors Lee Pan Do and Ho Seong. Among the songs performed were 'Pumping Jumping', 'My Style' and My Secret Romance's OST - 'You Are The World of Me' and 'The Ocean and You', and Goblin's OST - 'First Snow'.

In between the songs, there were interview and game sessions. During the interview, Sung Hoon told the audience that he is naturally a shy person. But he sportingly did the aegyo (I learned a new word ;p) moves, the Baby Shark song, to please the fans.

"Please don't record this."

So cute hahahaha.

Two fans were picked to play games with Sung Hoon during the game session. But somehow three fans instead of two came on stage. Luckily they have extra set for the gift so all three fans managed to get his autographed photo book and a photo session with him.

The event then continued with Sung Hoon showing his talent in musical Disc Jockey (DJ). He is conducting his DJ activities under the name ROI. For a moment, Plenary Hall turned into a night club as the fans went wild, singing and jumping together haha.

To end the night, all fans who came got a chance to 'touch' Sung Hoon with the Hi-Touch session. To avoid any controversies whatsoever, he wore a glove to respect the Muslim fans. How thoughtful!

To be honest, I didn't know who he was prior to this event but I attended it anyway to show support to KTO for always being nice to me :) And I enjoyed the show! Thank you KTO and IME Asia for the fun night!

November 17, 2017

Dream Program PyeongChang

The Dream Program is initiated to introduce winter sports to young people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience winter weather and winter sports. The Dream Program was launched by PyeongChang in 2004 as part of its bid for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Since then, 1,574 youths (105 with disabilities) coming from 75 countries have participated in this program, which is usually organized for 10 days between January and February.

The Dream Program provides youths aged 11 to 15 with the opportunity to train in skiing and ice sports. In particular, youths who have limited access to winter weather or winter sports, or those who have potential to excel in winter sports, are invited to PyeongChang. The program has also helped foster closer ties among nations and enriched the participants through cultural exchange.

Key stakeholders such as the IOC, winter International Federations such as FIS and ISU, the foreign media and NOCs have lauded the Dream Program as an excellent initiative that has contributed to the Olympic Movement. It has helped to expand winter sports, promote friendship among youths, and contributed to peace around the world. Since 2011, the second phase of the Dream Program, called ‘New Dream Program’, has been in operation.

Under the New Dream Program, there will be an increase in opportunities for the youths, including those with disabilities, to experience winter sports in PyeongChang. In 2012, the Dream Program was also expanded to serve as an academy for winter sports.

One example of success story from this Dream Program is Julian Yee Zhi-Jie, Malaysia's very own figure skater, who won gold medal at the 2017 SEA Games. His free skate routine, where he was placed third, gave him the points needed (148.74) to place in the top seven to qualify for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

*image credit to @julianyeeee

Yee began learning to skate at age four at the Sunway Pyramid Ice Rink. He was later selected by National Ice Skating Association (Ice Skating Association Of Malaysia) to participate in the 2009 Korean Dream Program in PyeongChang.

*image credit to @julianyeeee

*image credit to @julianyeeee

"I was very inspired with the fact that PyeongChang may be an Olympic Venue in the future and that I had the opportunity to learn more about figure skating at the Korean Dream Program. With this Dream Program, it had also made me realize that the Winter Olympics is a very important and prestigious event. Making me want to be there some day. 8 years later, it is truly an honor and an achievement to be able to qualify and participate at the 2018 Winter Olympics PyeongChang, the very same venue as the Korean Dream Program”.

November 15, 2017

JJCM : Kacang Pool Haji

If you visit Johor Bahru (JB), I'm pretty sure the locals will suggest you to eat Kacang Pool Haji at the food court next to Larkin Fire Station. A friend brought me there back in 2009 after we attended our bestfriend's wedding and I still remember how sedap it was!

After more than 8 years, I got to eat the yummylicious Kacang Pool again!

They have expanded the business and now have a few outlets around JB;
* 12, Jalan Dato Jaffar, Larkin Gardens (opens 7am to 12 midnight)
* Larkin Food Court, Susur 5, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, next to the Larkin Fire Station (opens 7am till late)
* Plaza Larkin Food Court, adjacent to Larkin Sentral (opens 7.30am to 6.30pm)
* Plaza Angsana (opens 10am to 10pm)

* Putrajaya!

Yeayy!!! I can go there anytime to satisfy my cravings!

My friends and I went to their largest and newest outlet in JB at Jalan Dato Jaffar.

The outlet is usually full but it was rather empty that night because it was the night of Malaysia Cup final, JDT vs Kedah hehe.

We ordered Kacang Pool daging, Kacang Pool kambing, Mee rebus, Rojak buah and Tauhu bakar.

Kacang pool

mee rebus

tauhu bakar

rojak buah

The Kacang Pool is without a doubt, da bomb! My JB friend recommended us to eat Mee Rebus Haji Wahid but we didn't have time to go but I think this mee rebus is also good! Tauhu bakar and rojak buah is so-so though.

We were happily taking photos around the outlet when one of the staff told us that the owner was there, and suggested us to take photos with him. 

So here's one with Haji Makpol, the owner of this famous kacang pool.
Thanks for coming up with that yummylicious menu!

November 13, 2017

Halal Food in Ho Chi Minh City - part 2

Part 1

A lot has changed since my last visit to Ho Chi Minh City in early 2014.

Some restaurants from my previous visit are no longer there, has changed their name/owner, or has expanded so here's an updated version from my visit in Oct 2017.

The majority of halal restaurants are located at Nguyen An Ninh or best known as the Malaysia Street.

When in Vietnam, you must try Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup. On my last trip, I tried one at Restaurant Hajah Basiroh but I felt the taste was rather bland. Despite that experience, I wanted to eat pho again during this trip. The key to a delicious pho is in the broth so there must be some restaurants that can make a good one.

While shopping at Rohani Collection, the guys suggested us to go to Restaurant Haji Idris. I also read CARI Forum and many forumers suggested Halal Amin because they're cheap and the foods are delicious.

Dinner time, we went to Restaurant Haji Idris but it was full house. We malas to wait so we went to Halal Amin instead.

Ordered pho.

It tasted so much better than my previous pho at Restaurant Hajah Basiroh! OK la.. can come here again next time.

Halal Amin is also cheaper. I only paid 160,000 VND for 2 person's meal with drinks.

Here's the menu.

A plate of rice and a bowl of noodle are at 50,000 VND each (except for Nasi Goreng Pattaya) where other restaurants usually charge more.

Restaurant Haji Idris was full house but I had a quick look at their menu.

It's more expensive but I didn't eat there so I can't comment whether the taste justify such a hefty price.

There are many restaurants like Restaurant Hajah Basiroh (I don't like the pho but taste is subjective), Restaurant Haji Os Man, Restaurant Salima, Restaurant Hj. Man Sour, and Restaurant Mu Sa Ka Riem for you to try. Generally, I think halal food in HCMC is quite pricey. If you come with a big family, prepare to fork out hundreds of RM for every meal. 

I heard the space rental is around 4000-5000 USD monthly so that probably explains the pricey food and some restaurants closed or changed owners since my last visit. Whatever it is, here's what I do - choose hotel that comes with free breakfast. Eat heavy breakfast that can make me full until late afternoon, go shopping and have early dinner, and continue shopping again haha. #jimat

All of the above restaurants are located at Nguyen An Ninh. But if you walk till the end of the street and turn right, there's another halal restaurant, Saigon Green House. 

I also saw another restaurant just across the end of Malaysia Street, Daun but forgot to take photo. 

When in Vietnam, other than pho, try this!

I didn't though cos I don't drink coffee :D