Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tasty Fried Liver @ Shaikh Al Mandi Restaurant

I’m not a fan of liver dishes. however, a trip to shaikh al mandi restaurant in barsha proves that you might end up with a delicious liver dish that you would actually like!




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we have our favorite mandi restaurant of course, but sometimes mr. khairul and I feel like trying out new mandi places – so we ended up at ‘shaikh al mandi restaurant’ in al barsha, near holiday inn.




from the meny, you can see the variety of dishes here – not JUST few types of rice. there’s the usual mandi and madfoon chicken. there’s also meat nashif, and mugalgal, and many more! this includes the liver dish that we decided to try.



this was what we tried – the ‘kibdah’ – simply liver fried with chili, cut up tomatoes and capsicum. surprisingly SO good, especially coming from someone who does not fancy liver. it’s spicy, but the sweet sour taste of the tomatoes give it a sweet edge. the texture of the liver is also tender and juicy. I would definitely order this again.



the ‘kibdah’ is served together with the ‘malawah’, yemeni fried bread




thank goodness the liver dish was super delicious, because their mandi rice is not. as a mandi-rice freak who has tried countless of mandi rice across dubai, I can say for certain that this is one of the not-so-sedap ones. the chicken was tawar, so I had to sip the soup everytime I take a mouthful so that it would taste better. the rice was soft and tasty, and the texture of the chicken is as good as any, but lacks that salty kick.



the saviour of the day – tasty hot soup



simple plate of salad, but I love that it includes my favorite jerjer leaves. some restaurants offer only plates of cucumber and carrots.




this is the ‘family’ section – like any mandi restaurant would have. it looks like rows of changing rooms because of the curtains, but looking inside, it has a cosy feel, not just the majlees (where you sit cross-legged on a carpeted room, but also the ‘rooms’ with tables and chairs.




kahfi getting comfy



khaleef in one of the ‘family rooms’ with seats. really cozy. I love that it’s compact – parents can just ‘trap’ young kids at the corner of the table and they won’t be able to run around and wreck havoc! haha





overall, I’m pretty disappointed with the mandi chicken, but I would come again just to have a taste of the delicious ‘kibdah’ and ‘malawah’ once again.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Movie Review : The Wolverine, Elysium, The World’s End & Red 2

syigim hits the movies again. ‘the wolverine’, the anti-hero with that unmistakable metal alloy adamantium bone claws, ‘elysium’ a sci-fi drama of a divided world, a sci-fi comedy ‘the world’s end’ and an action flick ‘red 2’ that proves you’re never too old to be daymn cool.


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first, I’m totally in love with hugh jackman. that intoxicating stare, those yummy biceps – that is my girlie fan-girl talking. haha secondly, my movie-fan self will say that hugh jackman is one of those rare actors that can do both drama and action flick really really well. on top of that, he’s really funny also!

I just watched him in the intense drama ‘prisoners’. here he reprised his role as the awesome wolverine, and doing a damn good job at it.

you don’t have to be familiar with the wolverine and x-men movies to appreciate ‘the wolverine’. unlike the previous wolverine movie ‘x-men origins : wolverine’,  wolverine is the only familiar face from x-men in this movie. his old crush jean grey appears from time to time but only in dreams. the movie doesn’t even have as many mutants as a marvel movie should.

it stands alone as simply a story of a forgotten hero seeking freedom from the shackles of immortality (wolverine has healing powers against any wounds, heals rapidly and slows down aging). the setting is japan, when a tycoon summoned logan (wolverine) to his mansion, to ‘repay’ him for saving his life long ago during the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki. there’s more to it that just a repayment of old debt…

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie – it’s not an empty action-packed movie; it has heart. but wolverine ended up spending the night with the japanese princess? cliché! I soooo can see that one coming!



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it’s way into the future. ‘elysium’ is a man-made utopian world up in space for super-wealthy people, where birds sing and grass is green; while the rest of the poor people live on the ruined, polluted earth; brown and barren. the two worlds are so divided that when ‘earth people’ go to ‘elysium’, they’re considered illegal immigrants, and would be blast off in space.

the story of ‘elysium’ centers on a desperate man (matt damon) threatened with a dangerous mission that would drastically change both worlds; and in his way is a power-hunger government officer up in the perfect elysium world, played deliciously villainously by oscar winner jodie foster.

the storyline is a tad draggy at times, and could be downright boring for some (read : me included). also, the ending is somewhat predictable, but does not lose its tenderness; will definitely leave you with tears.

and that said, the sad reality is some of us are already living on ‘earth’, while others bask in their own ‘elysium’ oblivious to the happenings on ‘earth’. think about that.



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I’ve always enjoyed nick and simon’s brand of humor. wish I could watch this with my sis syida coz we both ‘get’ that dry brit wit! funny as heck.

it started as a pretty normal story – a couple of childhood friends got together to finish a tradition of visiting all the bars in their town, get a drink in every single stop, all in one night. what they didn’t anticipate was the fact that their town has – changed, somehow. an alien invasion? ack!

the script is hilarious, the plot is fantastically silly and the ending is even more so – but I enjoyed it! it combines the greats of british comedic actors, each one played their character with great comedic timing. love this movie!

the brit accent may put you off if you can’t catch what they’re saying – otherwise, a good watch for a silly fun on a lazy day. oh, if you enjoy this, go watch ‘paul’.



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the movie ‘red 2’ make old—or rather, aged people looked SO cool.

ex-CIA agents bruce willis and john malkvich are called up for one more mission, this time to clear their names from association to a nuclear weapon. fellow ex-CIA helen mirren joined in, while having M16 agents, a korean contract killer and russian secret agent played by catherine zeta jones hot on their heels.

the story is action-packed, funny and great wit from helen mirren and malkovich. I love how cool helen mirren is taking calls while pouring acid on one of her ‘victims’. she gets some of the best lines in ‘red 2’. love her!

on the other hand, actress mary-louise parker who played bruce willis’ girlfriend is just annoying. serious menyemak. however, we do need some nameless chick that lovely catherine and helen can outshine easily. haha.

bruce willis is still sexy as ever, and john malkovich is hillarious without even trying. dame helen mirren is so hot, and anthony hopkins is the most endearing character in this. highly recommended. I just wished morgan freeman would be on this too (he was in the first ‘red’ movie) – that would be perfection.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Celebrated Aidiladha in Abu Dhabi

this year, 2013 is our 6th year celebrating aidiladha (hari raya haji) in UAE (united arab emirates). wow. 6th.

I still remember clearly our 1st ever aidiladha when we’re still a one-kid family. just the 3 of us; and I had just arrived in dubai the month before. I remember making popiah daging the night before hari raya haji 2008 to bring to the potluck breakfast at matrade building after the eid prayer (sembahyang raya).

6 years later, here we are. another aidiladha in the middle east! alhamdulillah!



berkorban apa saja untuk lelaki-lelaki ini.


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this year is interesting as we spent the whole day in abu dhabi, beraya with mr. khairul’s fellow bikers.

we first went to manx and zira’s house. they prepared a scrumptious spread of various malaysian delights. I was so excited to see so much food, especially one coveted food of mine – pulut kuning! haha. thanks zira, thanks manx for having us!



with tuan rumah, the spunky zira



my favorite and long-coveted pulut kuning (yellow glutinous rice, eaten with chicken curry) and on the side is the garnishing for curry mee.



sempat pulak menjala! that’s the soft roti jala with the delicious chicken curry.



garnishing for noodle soup. yum.




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this is one awesome drink. lime and asam boi. sugar and lots of ice. perfection. good job, zira!



oh my goodness – there’s even tapai!



mr. khairul in green sampin hanging out with tuan rumah manx in red, and another good friend wak.



spoilt for choice!



kiddos have the most fun during raya gatherings!



gorgeous malaysian ladies of abu dhabi & dubai; after such delicious variety of aidiladha lunch from manx and zira’s crib. there’s even laksa from zuraidah (along’s wife). burp, alhamdulillah! thanks so much you guys!


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the next house we went to for dinner – don and jaja’s place. don is another fellow biker, and I SO enjoyed talking to their daughters. smart and chatty! being a mom without daughters, I tend to be that one creepy aunt who likes to talk to little girls at gatherings. haha.



don and jaja served another fantastic spread for raya haji – malaysian style still! chicken satay complete with tasty peanut sauce. lontong (not a fan) and nasi tomato (HUGE fan!).



It was heavenly when I saw the nasi tomato complete with tomato-ish ayam masak merah (chicken cooked in chilli and tomato ketchup). love love love! my favorite nasi perisa aside from mandi rice!



from left zira, zuraidah, hostess jaja, balkish and me



from left : my mr. khairul, along syamsulfaiz, wak, host don, manx & bro razali


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another memorable aidiladha in the middle east – especially grateful for all the delicious malaysian dishes that we still get to taste all the way out here, jauh dari kampung halaman. thanks so much to manx and zira, and don and jaja for inviting us to beraya, and for that moment of borak-borak and makan-makan, aidiladha felt just like home.

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