Sunday, 17 July 2016

Strike a Chord of Resonance at TEDxKL 2016!

TED Talks. I'm sure that most of you have heard of it. If not, here's a simple introduction to TED:

TED is a non-profit, dedicated to sharing ideas. Much like a very good jam, these ideas are very worth spreading.

TED stands for Technology. Entertainment. Design. However, ideas spread at TED is not limited to just Technology, Entertainment and Design. It ranges from entertainment, philosophy, business, human rights and so much more.

TEDxKL is back for the 8th year with the theme RESONANCE.

Resonance creates a morphic field that strengthens when more energy is added to it. When we resonate with something or someone, we relate or connect to it in a certain harmonious way. It strikes a chord with us.

Like a good idea, when coincides with like-minded individuals, it resonates, and creates a strong positive ripple effect in that particular field.

Here's a few of my favourite TED Talks that strike a chord of resonance with me:

1. Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator - Tim Urban 


"When a normal student writes a paper, they might spread the work out a little like this

And I would want to do that like that. That would be the plan. I would have it all ready to go, but then, actually, the paper would come along, and then I would kind of do this.
  

So here's the brain of a non-procrastinator.

Now ... here's my brain."


I admit, I am guilty of being a Master PRO-crastinators. One good example is this blog post...which I have procrastinated it for...quite...a while. I can't say that after listening to how Tim combated procrastination, his Instant Gratification Monkey and Panic Monster made me a procrastinate-free individual, but it made me more self-aware and reflective on the time I have left (and how I should stop shifting tabs, watching random YouTube videos and focus on completing this blog post)

2. Teach Girls Bravery, Not perfection - Reshma Saujani

"Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We're taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A's. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time they're adults, whether they're negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they're habituated to take risk after risk. They're rewarded for it. It's often said in Silicon Valley, no one even takes you seriously unless you've had two failed start-ups. In other words, we're raising our girls to be perfect, and we're raising our boys to be brave."
Growing up as the youngest & only daughter in the family, I can't help but to agree and relate myself to Reshma. No, this talk isn't about extreme feminism, but just about the simple act of encouraging girls to be braver, to embrace uncertainty and risks.

3. Are You Human? - Ze Frank 


"Have you ever eaten a booger long past your childhood?
Has your phone ever run out of battery in the middle of an argument, and it sort of felt like the phone was breaking up with both of you? 
Have you ever woken up blissfully and suddenly been flooded by the awful remembrance that someone had left you? "

A funny yet emotional TED Talk that is below 5 minutes. Frank started off with whimsical questions, but slowly progressed into hypothetical questions about humanity, that made me reflect and realize how to be human - how life is full of ups and downs and how we are not alone in dealing with life's ups and downs.


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Feeling inspired? Strike a chord of resonance at TEDxKL 2016! HERE is the list TEDxKL 2016 speakers - there will be 12 presenters in total throughout this six hour event :)

Get your TEDxKL tickets now @ tedxkl2016.peatix.com

Exclusive for my readers, enter my promo code jiaqitedxkl to purchase the tickets at a special discounted rate of RM90 :)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TEDxKL/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tedxkl
Instagram: @tedxklofficial

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Dotty's, TTDI - Salted Egg Yolk Frenzy

The salted egg yolk craze has taken Klang Valley by storms - It all started from our neighbour across the causeway, spreading the fad and hype which was evident after the launch of the Molten Salted Egg Yolk croissant from Le Bread Days...to the Salted Egg Yolk burger at my BurgerLab, Salted Egg Yolk Waffle at GoGet Cafe, salted egg yolk pasta etc. etc. 

Dotty's at Taman Tun Dr Ismail is one of the pioneer that hopped on the wave of Salted Egg Yolk craze - renowned for its Salted Egg Yolk Cronut (a hybrid between a croissant and doughnut), Dotty's had won the hearts of Salted Egg Yolk fans around Klang Valley. Photos of their molten Salted Egg Yolk delights have been circulating social media sites for the past few months (or pass one year!)
It was clear that the salted egg yolk craze had not cooled off - Patrons were seen rushing in and out, carrying boxes of salted egg yolk goodies from Dotty's.
We were greeted with a wonderful feast of pastries as we set our foot into Dotty's. The place was packed to the brim, even though I thought we arrived relatively early (9.30am) on a Saturday morning! 
Our order - The Salted Egg Yolk Cronut was not available yet as it was too early (take note that the first batch of cronuts is available at 12pm!). Even so, there were many other Salted Egg Yolk pastries for us to choose from - Salted Egg Yolk eclair, Salted Egg Yolk doughnut, Salted Egg Yolk roll etc. etc. etc.

Picking what to order was such an arduous task in Dotty's - we were simply too spoilt for choices!
Bread Basket RM16
Croissant, Brioche, Chocolate Roll, Cinnamon Roll, Sesame , served with homemade kaya, jam and butter

The pastries were okay, nothing much to shout about. However, I thought the homemade kaya was truly a delight - one of the better ones I've tried out there so far.
Salted Egg Yolk Cruffin RM10
Like a "Lau Sha Bao", but encrusted with a crusty, crispy and fragrant cruffin pastry crust. The salted egg yolk "sauce" had a thick and creamy consistency, bursting with a combination of sweet & savoury salted egg yolk flavours. 

Being an "okay" fan of salted egg yolk, I thought that the cruffin was an enjoyable pastry to share, as it is a little too cloying for me to finish one on my own. 
Pumpkin & Broccoli Quiche RM12
Tad pricey given its size on my opinion but nevertheless an enjoyable savoury quiche, packed with generous amount of root vegetables and decent amount of cheese.
If pastries are not your thing, Dotty's do serve hot meals as well. Prices are on the higher end (most pastries are priced above RM10).


Dotty's
20-G, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur

Business Hours :
9am - 9pm Wednesdays - Mondays
Closed on Tuesdays

Contact Number : +603-7733 4233
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mydottys/ 




Monday, 4 July 2016

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels, Damansara Uptown

The cafe-craze-frenzy-wave seems to be never ending in the Klang Valley. Damansara folks have been experiencing a fluctuation of new cafes mushrooming in every nook and cranny of their neighbourhood, it is so hard to catch on the wave!

The first floor of the corner lot of one of the busies street in Damansara Utama (same row as the famous Village Park Nasi Lemak!) which used to house Ecole P, a elementary school themed cafe, has now re-branded into Ampersand by Culinary Rebels, a restaurant/dive bar that specializes in the perfect marriage of East & West cuisine.
Lemongrass Lychee Tea RM10
Lychee Cooler RM10
Latte RM10

American-style breakfast is always associated to cafes. Whereas Banana Leaf Rice, is always associated to Banana Leaf Rice Restaurants. Don't walk into Ampersand expecting your typical cafe food staple -  Ampersand arranged a perfect marriage between American-style breakfast and banana leaf, as their brunch menu features a unique, built-to-share, western style brunch with a touch of local taste:

Note: Brunch is served only on weekends.
Banana Leaf Breakfast 4 pax RM60 | 2pax RM35
Scrambled eggs, crispy grilled bacon, tomato relish, mixed mushroom, hashbrown, double cooked potatoes, German bratswurts, lebanese bread

Western-styled breakfast food, dished out in front of you one by one: potatoes, mushrooms, eggs...etc.- just like when you're having a banana leaf rice meal. The Banana Leaf Breakfast was certainly a breakfast fit for a king - all the typical western breakfast staple, with a local touch! Appealing to the eyes and stomach, and a fresh respite for cafe-hoppers Instagram feed which is usually saturated with your typical brunch dishes.

Monster Breakfast RM99
Scrambled Eggs, BBQ Pork Ribs, Char Siew Pork Belly, Bacon, German Bratwurst, Hashbrown, Lebanese Bread
An up-scaled and meatier version of Banana Leaf Breakfast. The name Monster said it all - the serving size is fit to feed a monster! 
The ribs were cooked to tender perfection - the meat flaked off effortlessly from the bones. The meat served at Ampersand leans towards the sweeter side though. Being a fan of  the sweet + savoury combo, I thought the ribs were a great addition alongside with the savoury German Bratwurst and scrambled eggs which were done right.
It's a WRAP! 2 pax RM44
Tortilla, Pulled BBQ Ribs, Char Siew Pork Belly, Egg, Pickled Cucumber, Greens, Raita, Mango Sauce, Salsa

Construct your own wrap by mixing and matching with your favourite ingredients! We were spoilt with three different types of sauces ranging from the savoury Raita (a type of Chutney) to the sweet Salsa and Mango sauce which was on the other end of the sourish spectrum.

I prefer the lean, Pulled BBQ Ribs over the Char Siew Pork Belly as I find the pork belly tad fatty - I am not such a big fan of fats so the high ratio of fats to lean meat of the Char Siew Pork Belly wasn't exactly my cup of tea. But nevertheless, it is all up to preferences.
The Sinful French 2 pax RM28 | 2-4 pax RM40
French Toast, Bacon, Brulee Banana, Blueberries, Strawberries, Peanut Butter Sauce & Gula Melaka
So sinful but so good. Fluffy french toast, with a sweetness just right, paired up with the perfectly caramalized banana and bacon for a touch of savoury.
I loved the Peanut Butter Sauce as it was not too cloying and provided a subtle hint of nutty aromatic, though my friends preferred if it packed with more peanut-ty taste.

Done with the brunch, and off we go to the mains! Unlike the brunch dishes, the mains are available daily, all day long, weekdays & weekends.
X-Rated by the Magician RM36
German Pork Belly (approx 350g) marinated with char siew sauce, served with their in-house special tofu puree and peanut butter mustard

The pork belly was perfectly marinated with a fat to lean meat ratio that was just nice. I absolutely loved their tofu puree and peanut butter mustard. As I sunk my teeth into the meat, my taste buds immerse in the flavourful sweet marinate of the pork belly, which was mellowed down by the creamy tofu puree, and a hint of aromatic nutty taste from the peanut butter mustard - somehow all just came together oh-so-perfectly.

Rebellion by Ray RM36
German Pork Belly (approx 350g), Traffic Light sauce: Chimichurri, Spiced Pine-Mango Chutney, & Capsicum Berry Sauce, Flashed Fried Cherry Tomato, Salad and Crunchy Capers

The Traffic Light Sauce was the star of the dish - why Traffic Light? Because the colours of the sauces (Red:Capsicum Berry Sauce , Yellow: Mango Chutney & Green: Chimichurri).
The meat was tad tough and dry to eat on its own on my opinion. But once paired with the sauce, it turned out fine.

Overall, Ampersand has a unique East meet West menu. Personal recommendation would be X-Rated and The Sinful French.

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels
19A Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya

Business Hours:
Weekdays: 11am-3pm ; 5pm-11pm
Weekends: 10am-3pm ; 5pm-11pm
Closed on Wenesdays

Contact Number: 03-77329711
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ampersandbyculinaryrebels/


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