Friday, September 27, 2013

328 Katong Laksa @ Sibu

328 Katong Laksa is a popular franchise in Singapore and now it has an outlet in my hometown, Sibu. Strategically located at Premier Shopping Centre, it is perfect place for lunch for the office workers nearby.

The interior is simple, clean and comfortable. There is a stretch of wall which is filled with photos of celebrities and others at the 328 outlet in Singapore. This outlet is probably owned by the Easy Drink Easy Go franchise owner here.

One thing I like about the place is that one can have a full view of what is going on in one of the busiest street in the town.

The big laksa (RM 9.90) came out pretty fast and I notice the difference between the big and the small bowl is the extras they put in it.

The big bowl will have a few prawns, fish and cockles in it. It has a watery broth and the coconut milk was a bit diluted. The broth actually tastes like a home cooked laksa.

Overall, the laksa can pass my taste buds. For those who grew up with Sarawak Laksa, the 328 Katong Laksa will have some hard time to win the local's heart.

The rojak (RM 5.90) took like forever to arrive. It looks like any Chinese rojak in the market but the sauce has a twist in it. Instead of the usual sweet rojak sauce, it has a hint of salty and sour flavour to it.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Mid-Autumn Festival @ Rejang Park

I always make a point to return to my hometown for the last 3 years or so for the Mid-Autumn Festival just to be with my family.

My flight was delayed for some 30 minutes and the air craft touched down at 1900. I should count my blessing as I still in time to bring my 1 year old son to Rejang Park to see the lanterns here.

The traffic garden in Rejang park was swarmed with hundreds of people with people from all walks of life carrying lanterns and walking around while appreciating lanterns carried by other.

The Kung Ming lanterns are also start t get popular for the last couple of years as I notice more of such lanterns were release to the sky this year.

This garden party has been an annual affair for me since I knew my wife and I wish I could return again next year with my family.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hotel Seasons View, Kuantan

It has been 3 years since I last set my foot in Kuantan and how things are change around here. More hotels are mushrooming around the town and I was spoil for choices. Hotel Seasons View is one of the new hotel around which I manage to stay recently.

The location is somewhat ideal as it is within walking distance to Sg. Kuantan, Kuantan Parade and Jalan Gambut. Located at Lorong Haji Abdul Rahman, the hotel might be hard to locate as it is hidden from the main road.

The room rate here is very reasonable and clean. The standard room (RM 118). It is clean and comfortable but the TV reception was pretty bad in my room.

The water kettle appears to be rusty from the inside and hence I was unable to boil any water here.

Complimentary breakfast is provided for every guest here at The Ritz Grill but quite annoyingly is that buffet breakfast only starts at 7.30am here.

Complimentary parking is provided on a first come first serve basis in the limited hotel car park. Those who park at the MPK parking lots would be required to display parking coupons.

The hotel management definitely had a lot of rooms for improvement to make this place a more pleasant stay for the guests.

Seasons View Hotel, Kuantan
A22, Lorong Haji Abdul Rahman1,
25000 Kuantan

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hasbro Transformers Masterpiece Soundwave MP-02

Last month, Hasbro unveiled its new Masterpiece series (MP-01 Acid Storm & MP-02 Soundwave) on Malaysian shore. It comes with new packaging and only available in Toy R Us stores.

Hasbro has totally revamped its packaging for the Masterpiece series and should appeal to the collectors. It definitely able to rival Takara Tomy's Masterpiece packaging.

Soundwave's biodata is on the box. Frankly, I still prefer the collector's card which Takara Tomy offers. He got full marks in term of skill but I did not recall he is that agile and skillful in the cartoon series.

Removing the box cover sheet, the mainly purple colour box is still impressive. There are a few Chinese characters all over the box, which is pretty unusual for a Transformers toy line.

In term of comparison, the Hasbro MP-02 size is exactly that of Takara Tomy's MP-09 & MP-10 (as well as MP-13 itself).

Even the storage of the figure and accessories that come with it depart from Hasbro's traditional way and streamlined to how Takara Tomy's packaged their Masterpiece toys. It comes with the 5 cassettes, scanner, rifle, Megatron's alternate mode, 2 pairs of pile driver, energon cube, scanner and chest display.

Masterpiece Soundwave is about the same size (just slightly shorter) than Masterpiece Rodimus Prime and Optimus Prime.   

Soundwave is Megatron's most loyal soldier and regularly gathered vital intelligence for Megatron's schemes with the aid of his faithful cassettes.

In Hasbro version, Soundwave has a yellow visor as oppose to red as we seen regularly in the cartoon series. Frankly, I prefer it to be in red too.

Soundwave is able to detect and jam transmissions across a wide energy spectrum. He is armed with a shoulder mounted radio wave sensor (which looks like a missile launcher pod) and hand held concussion blaster.

The Megatron's alternate mode also fit nicely into the hand's of Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Unfortunately, the gun just don't fit into the small palm of Masterpiece Rodimus Prime.

One of his arm can be attached to a scanner. In the animated series, the scanner was only used once in Season 1 when locating Jetfire at the Artics.

This figure has a few great articulation including his signature move of pressing the button on his left shoulder to eject the cassettes.The figure is capable to store a maximum of 3 cassettes at a time.

His chest also can turn into a graphic display to present the information to his fellow Decepticons.

Soundwave is also the  source of energon cube in almost the entire animated series and this figure is able to reproduce those moment by projecting the crystal clear energon cube from its chest.

Both Rumble and Frenzy's pile drivers can be attached to Soundwave's arm for added fire power although this is rather unofficial as it is never seen in the animated series.

His alternate mode is a micro cassete deck (or walkman). Within the tape compartment, he stores a variety of Decepticons spies, all of which take the alternative form of a micro cassette. These spy characters include Ravage, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Rumble and Frenzy.

Using the combination of the scanner and pile driver, one can depicts the micro cassette connected to the computer's mainframe as seen in the 1986's Transformers: The Movie.

Hasbro includes all the 5 cassettes with Soundwave, saving the trouble from collector to get their hand on all the cassettes as in the Takara Tomy version. It definitely add more value to the package although I would love to see Buzzsaw been replaced with Ratbat.

 Laserbeak is probably the most recognizable and loved cassettes of all and the details on it is just amazing.

The spy camera at Laserbeak's forehead as seen in the 1986's Transformers: The Movie.

The annoying Rumble and Frenzy are also pretty cartoon accurate. Both figures are armed with a pair of gun and pile drivers.

Rumble/Frenzy size is slightly taller than the Targetmaster Offshoot (from Hasbro's Masterpiece Rodimus Prime).

Ravage is probably the least cartoon accurate figure in this package.I have problem putting both part of his head together. Maybe it got to do with some QC issues which resulting Ravage has its head split apart and it ain't a pleasant sight.

The cassettes are pretty fun to play with and fit nicely with Spike Witwicky figure. 

His minions are quick to serve and defend Soundwave in a crisis. In theory, he would be hard to defeat by any Autobots.

Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave is definitely worth to get. At RM 599.95 (I believe Hasbro won't jack the Masterpiece series above RM600 for present and future issues), it is definitely a bargain considering it includes all the 5 cassettes and accessories as compare to the Takara Tomy version. Hasbro quality is also on par or even better (as proven by Masterpiece Rodimus Prime) with Takara Tomy. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

World's Largest Capsule Vending Machine @ Berjaya Times Square

In order to commemorate Berjaya Times Square's 10th anniversary, the management had erected a giant working capsule vending machine at its main concourse until the end of this month.

How times really flies. This shopping mall has been around for a decade now.

The capsule vending machine measuring at 9.83m in height with a diameter of 4.7m and interval volume of 22.52 cubic meter.

This type of capsule vending machine is kind of nostalgic especially for the older generation where this device was commonly found in some convenience stores.