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Fresh Luo Han Guo - have you seen/tried it before?

>> Thursday, February 25, 2016

I was just doing some grocery shopping on Tuesday night at Mid Valley's Aeon Big when I came across this whole shelf of interesting looking fruits/vegetables. As I looked closer at the stacks of boxes on the shelves, I realized that they're actually fresh Luo Han Guo that I've never seen in my life (really.....I've only seen the dried ones).

This fruit is more commonly found at Chinese medicine shops in their dried form (round, brown fruit) & costs around RM1.50/fruit these days. My mum boils it like a herbal tea to repel body heat & she will also boil it when we are having cough.

Apparently, the fresh Luo Han Guo is good for heat stroke/thirst, acute and chronic throat inflammation, aphonia, chronic cough, constipation and as a sugar substitute for diabetics! I read on the small information sheet that came with the box of fresh Luo Han Guo that these fresh fruits have are higher in vitamin C, fiber & flavanoids compared to the dried fruit since the drying process requires the fruit to be treated at up to 80ÂșC fo 48 hours. The process may preserve the fruit for longer periods, but will also lead to depletion in nutrients.

The skin & flesh of the fruit cannot be eaten as it is (it looks like mangosteen!), so you'll have to wash the fruit clean, crush it & put it into a pot to be boiled with 4-5 cups of water for 10 minutes. The small leaflet suggests to add 2 slices of ginger as well. The drink is REALLY sweet & actually has the licorice bark ("kam chou") taste, so the drink reminded me of those birds' nest with ginseng. Yes, birds' nest with ginseng! You can boil the fruit twice, so my mum actually placed 2 fruits into the pot & we had 2 pots of fresh Luo Han Guo drinks...YUMS! All for just RM2.90/box of 4 fruits from Aeon Big Mid Valley...I think it's a promo price, but it's SO worth the try!

Try it & you'll see what I mean :D

Highly intrigued,


Review: Hail, Caesar!, Food Panda, & United International Pictures Malaysia

>> Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In collaboration with United International Pictures Malaysia, Food Panda treated their favorites to the Hail, Caesar! premier last week *yay*

Date: 16th February 2016 (Tuesday)
Venue: GSC Mid Valley Megamall
Movie Time: 9:00p.m.

My initial idea of the movie was one of war in the Roman empire days like those 3000 BC movie, but when I saw the trailer, I was quite intrigued to find out more from the premier how the movie actually goes. Together with 3 friends, we set out for a girls-night-out to catch the premier of Hail, Caesar! all thanks to Food Panda.

Rotten Tomatoes gave pretty high rating of this movie, 82%. Here's what RT says:
Four-time Oscar (R)-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood's Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.

It was an eye-opener into the life of a Eddie Mannix (played by Josh Brolin), an executive at Capitol Films, set during the early 50s era. Eddie Mannix is a family man with 2 children & is a good Catholic who feels guilty for the most minor of wrong-doings. His daily routine involves dealing with casts, reporters/columnists & even having to think of his career on the long run with another company called Lockheed in the midst of his chaotic work-life. The movie also featured George Clooney as Baird Whitlock, one of Capitol Films' most prominent stars, who later got kidnapped while in costume for the swords-and-sandals epic "Hail, Caesar!". The studio was demanded a ransom of $100,000 for the release of the movie star, else that'll be the end of their best actor. I found it hilarious that the kidnappers were actually 'communists', who mainly consists of a group of film script writers *lol* They even influenced Baird to be part of their group! Kakaka...SO weird...

My 'funny-bone' was also tickled when the studio got Hobie Doyle (played by Alden Ehrenreich), a typical B-western cowboy, to play the lead role of a romantic, rich man. It was clear that a character like Hobie couldn't fit the romeo character, but that's how the movie infused elements of humour (rather queer ones, I've to say) into itself.

If you're into movies from the 50s with some what I'll call as "peculiar humor" (at least that's my personal opinion), catch Hail, Caesar! at the cinema nearest to you :D

Additional info:
What's Food Panda? It's an online food delivery service that connects hungry people to great food. With a few simple clicks from your phone/computer, your food will be delivered to the comfort of your own home/office piping hot. You can find more information from their website: www.foodpanda.my.

Movie night, me likey!


Review: An Exclusive Complimentary Dinner For 2 by A&W Malaysia

>> Thursday, February 18, 2016

Venue: A & W Restaurant, Kota Damansara

A&W: Hello? Is this Ms Ruth Wong?
Ruth: Yes, speaking...
A&W: I'm Shahid calling from A&W Malaysia. We would like to invite you to a special dinner for 2 on Sunday..
Ruth: Er...what's this about? It's a 'lil last minute (11th Feb) & Sunday is a major Chinese New Year festival day (7th day) + it's also Valentine's Day...
A&W: Oh, it's a special dinner that we would like to invite you & your partner to come..it's gonna be a course meal like in hotels...it's for winners of a contest & we want to also invite a blogger to come...you can choose from selected outlets to enjoy the meal.
Ruth: Er...okaaay....I'll get back to you with confirmation once I confirm with my partner, ok?
A&W: Sure...! Thank you, Ms Ruth Wong...

I found it totally peculiar. Valentine's Day celebration at A&W??

Believe it or not, it just dawned upon me that this is my 1st V-Day celebration with AP after being together for 7+ years (we're like some 'old couple' who doesn't bother with young, festive hypes)! Hahahaha...we've never celebrated such commercialized days & the 2 times we celebrated previously were celebrated with a kid whom we helped look after so that her parents can go celebrate V-Day together (that's like during our 1st year together) & the 2nd time was a post V-Day celebration, not on the 'actual day'. I'm amused at the dynamic of our relationship *giggles*

As you could see, we did agree to attend this 'special complimentary dinner for 2' after all. We were pleasantly surprised to find the tables set up specially for such occasion although not in the most 'romantic' of fashions. When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted personally by the waiter, waitress & restaurant manager at the Kota Damansara branch; I thought that was quite nice until I found out that they were informed of my name & it was also stated at the table reserved for me. Hohoho.

The special menu for the night was more nostalgic than romantic. Thankfully AP isn't very particular with his food & was more than glad to have fast food (especially A&W since the Kuantan's branch was closed down) for dinner despite it being V-Day. To him, it's just any other Sunday...haha.

We started the 3-course dinner with a salad with dill dressing. It was a simple, pleasant salad, nothing very fanciful. I thought it would be nicer if the portion was more generous, especially with the greens (just romaine lettuce) & the tomatoes were diced instead of sliced in chunks. We couldn't really taste the dill though, so the salad with dill dressing didn't really live up to its name, in our humble opinion. Presentation wise, it would have looked nicer if it was served in an oval-shaped bowl :P

Our entree was an 11" long chicken coney dog with coney & cheesy sauce. TOTALLY NOSTALGIC! The taste was still as delicious as how I last remembered it & we thought this could be A&W's all-time favorite/signature dish if it's marketed differently. We enjoyed the coney dog (esp with cheese!), but the almost foot long coney dog would look better if the hotdog bun is 1 long bun instead of 2 usual size hotdog buns with 1 long sausage.

Note: photos taken using a different camera from this point 

We were also served with 1 piece of fried chicken each. AP said he's quite confident that A&W uses the "Kentucky" fried chicken flour that you can buy off the rack at the supermarkets for the fried chicken's batter. I liked the taste, but I still find it too salty for my liking. He loved every crunch of it...*sigh...my man...loves fast food a 'lil too much*

A meal at A&W will NEVER be complete without the signature root beer in a chilled mug :) Ah...it was a walk-down-memory-lane...love every sip of the root beer that AP had a refill & drank to his heart's desire...hahaha...

We ended our meal with the A&Wsome waffle + 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream topped with strawberry sauce, AP's favorite flavor! I think AP enjoyed this meal more than I did cos all his favorites were served one after another...hahaha.

We're grateful for the treat & the gifts that A&W presented to us together with the appearance of Rooty the RB Bear! I felt like a kid again! It was indeed a memorable V-Day this year although not the most romantic-ambiance one as I had the opportunity to celebrate it with my own 'bear' i.e. AP & had Rooty joining us as well *wheee*

Thank you, A&W Malaysia & the Kota Damansara branch's team for the lovely treat! We will certainly look out for the upgraded 11" cheesy coney dog to be included into the menu later this year *fingers crossed* Oh, the one thing that could certainly make this dinner more 'romantic' is the selection of songs played in the restaurant; they could have just put on some V-Day related songs/love songs instead of having the usual Malay radio channel.

How did you celebrate your V-Day this year? Haha...are you as practical as both AP & I or are you the romantic type of couple who prefers a fanciful meal for 2? Would you celebrate special occasions at fast food restaurants like A&W? It's not too bad an idea, really :)

Both too practical :P


Chinese New Year Eve 2016 - Ushering the Year of Abundance!

>> Sunday, February 7, 2016

With the house Internet giving problems at this rather 'crucial' time of updating, I'm thankful that there's still phone data to update this blog ^.^ Time really flies; we're already in the 2nd month of this new year! With Chinese New Year Eve today, many Chinese families have traveled a distance just to get back to their hometown in time for the reunion dinner, an important event set aside, to meet up with family members for a hearty meal before a new year begins.

It has been a tradition for my family to gather with my dad's side of the family for festival dinners, as long as I could remember. Typically, our Chinese New Year Eve dinner (and most family gatherings) is hosted at our "family home". Each nucleus family will bring a dish to 'complete' the menu that will consist of approximately 8-10 different meat/vegetable dishes, ALL home-cooked! :) My family is really blessed to have such talented & skillful home-breed-chefs!

We started tonight's dinner with the tossing of the "Yee Sang", a vegetables + pickles + crackers + fish slices/jelly fish/abalone slices (all of such 'meats' are optional) dish, harmoniously blending with crushed peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, & our home-favorite additional ingredient of the kaffir lime leaves shreds, & drizzled with sweet maltose, some 'cooked oil', white pepper, & five spice powder.

*photos turned out rather yellow/red as the house had really yellow lighting*

We tossed & mixed the 'salad', lifting it as high as possible, while speaking well wishes in Chinese to usher a better year ahead :D it has been one of those family traditions that I will miss once I get married as different families have different cultures & family traditions...haha...

This year's Chinese New Year Eve dinner was an overflowing, abundance of dishes, which we could carry forward to our new lunar year! Lol! Traditionally, Chinese families have believed in having more than enough food for the year ahead to symbolize an even abundant new year! Seems like my family could have some good "choy kiok" dish (a type of dish made from left-overs, but tastes 'oh-so-delish'!) on the 2nd day of the new lunar year :D Woohoo! It ain't just any monkey business!

9 dishes plus a charcoal-boiled soup!

PerutBesi wishes all families & friends celebrating this joyous festival of reunions a VERY HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR; GONG HEI FATT CHOY with greater successes, better health & abundance of blessings!

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