Wednesday, 29 June 2016

KL City Gallery

I was going to walk around KL Historic City Centre, which is the area surrounding the Padang or Independence Square. I asked the taxi to drop me off at KL City Gallery as this is probably the easiest name to tell the driver. As it turned out, this was the best place to start the walk. This gallery - more accurate museum - gives you a good tour, led by a guide who would clue you up with a quick info about KL's history, developments, etc before the start of your trip.

This is a free admission (when i was here). A nice service provided by the Malaysian tourism authority.

Art Installation, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia 
KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
Top:  KL City Gallery. The domed building behind it is City Library.
Left:  This installation outside is one of the city most photographed object.

History Exhibits, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
KL's history on the fly.

Architecture Exhibits, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia

Batik Exhibits, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
Exhibits about Malaysian batik

At the end of the tour is a multimedia light display accompanied by a large wooden model of the whole KL City. The presentation was especially showcasing the tall buildings, and Petronas Twin Towers is such proud recent addition. A tall building that stands above the rest is KL118.

Architectural city Model of KL, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
The tourist kid was probably pointing at KL118

As i mentioned in a post about my visit to Petronas Twin Towers that the said towers stood as the tallest building in the world for 6 years until it was superseded by Taipei 101. Well, KL118 is a revenge for that loss (i'm sure nobody in KL would characterize it that way. But the name demands it. "We're going to overtake you, Taipei 101").

Well, Petronas Twin Towers had been an international landmark, but it has been almost 20 years, so it's time for a new icon, but much taller. If you're short, nobody can see you (not from a distance).

As the name suggests, Taipei 101 (508m tall), has 101 floors. And so KL118 (664m tall) is therefore has 118 floors. Yes, this race to the sky is very much alive in Asia (China, ME, and SE Asia), and the multimedia video and this city model makes it clear.

Architectural city Model of KL, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
A spotlight is being placed on KL118 during the video presentation

Clearly, '8' is an important number in KL's landmark property developments. Petronas Twin Towers has 88 floors (and completed in 1998. '9' is also an auspicious number), and so the number '8' is once again incorporated into KL118 (98 floors is lower than Taipei 101, and even 108 floors are too short nowadays to qualify in the Tall Building race).

High real-estate values demand high buildings. Comparing to nearly all SE Asian cities, KL's population is relatively low and so its relative real estate values aren't high. You know this is the case because if you walk around KL, it doesn't feel crowded at all.

HK, in contrast, where its real-estate is the highest in Asia, and 2nd highest in the world, it demands supertall skyscrapers to make economic sense. But there are reasons other than economics that KL wants to enter this race.

One reason is that tall buildings would put a city on the map if your city lacks a wow factor and high profile (no pun intended). It isn't a bad thing for tourism. Not to mention that this is a nice supplement for and an addition to the MBR (Malaysia Book of Records), which is designed to give Malaysia a sense of national pride and nicely complements Dr. Mahathir's "Malaysia Boleh!" campaign. All are intended to make Malaysian standing tall (no pun intended in the term "intended", but fully on the term "standing tall"). I think this points to the heart of the tall and supertall skyscrapers that are erected in KL.

Architectural city Model of KL, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
the most 3 well-known landmarks rising above the city skyline: KL118, KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers

If all this talk of KL118 has got you excited, and you can't wait to see it. Sorry to disappoint you, its planned completion date is 2019 (it might be later). Well, that doesn't stop the Malaysia tourism authority to promote it, which might give me an excuse to revisit KL as it's less than an hour flight (if i still live in Singapore then. Well, i haven't seen all of Malaysia yet).

Ah yes, Samsung C&T, who built Petronas Twin Towers, also won the tender to build KL118.



Workshop, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
Workshop where some of the souvenirs in the souvenir shop were made. The crafts don't limit to Malaysian architecture.
Just behind the glass wall, you can also see the Big Ben and Empire State Building.

Wood crafts souvenir, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
Some of the souvenir handiworks made in the workshop

You don't need the tour guide (you might not arrive at the tour time) to look at the exhibits yourself. They're well documented with explanations.

It's free, and there's an expected souvenir shop at the end for those who like such things.


Models, souvenir shop, KL City Gallery, KL, Malaysia
The various tall landmarks in KL displayed in the souvenir shop, including the yet to be completed KL118 that towering over the rest. This row of building models reflects KL's preoccupation with the skyscrapers.



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Funny Caption 28: Cat and Pigeon Talk

Funny photo, Funny caption, Cat looking at a pigeon with plastic cup in its beak


"Look what I found!"

"Don't give it to me! The trash can is over there."

"Would it kill you to leave some for me?"

"How many times must I warn you that the human trash bin is full of animal traps!"

"Look! I've already told you that I'm not into discarded plastic cup!"

"It's so like you...only come to me when you need my help."

"Finally, a good night sleep!"

"Can't hear you...Cat got your tongue?"




Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Naughty Nuri's Restaurant, Singapore and Capitol Theatre

01-84 Capitol Piazza,
11 Stamford Rd, 
01-84, 
Singapore 178884

After dined at the Naughty Nuri's in KL, Malaysia, i said we were going to try the recently opened Naughty Nuri's in Singapore when we returned, i didn't expect so soon. Maybe because we can't wait.


 The Place 
While the address suggests it's located in Capitol Piazza, it's really located inside or next to Capitol Theatre. Perhaps, the area inside Capitol Theatre building complex next to the actual theatre is Capitol Piazza (which i thought refers to the mall situated below street level).

I have walked past Capitol Theatre building quite a number of times and took a few photos of its exterior, but had never actually gone inside to look (which is so unlike me. I must be busy. I'll stick that excuse if i'm questioned in court).


Fountain, Capitol Theatre, Singapore

Fountain, Capitol Theatre, Singapore

Night time, Capitol Theatre, Singapore Night time, Capitol Theatre, Singapore
Fountain, Capitol Theatre, Singapore

Back in the days (of 1930s), it was one of the largest cinema in Singapore. In the 1980s, it had been done up nicely. Although it was penciled by Singapore Tourism Board to turn it into an arts house, but that didn't work out. Today, this area is filled with hip restaurants for hungry (or naughty) foodie, and Naughty Nuri's is one.

Architecture of the interiors consist of plain whitewash walls, quiet elegant lines, and simple window doors designs. Quite easy on the eyes.

Interior, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore
Capitol Theatre and Piazza

Interior, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore Interior, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore

Interior, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore

Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore
Naughty Nuri's

Comparing to the KL's franchise, this Singapore outlet is a more upmarket version. Instead of their trademarked pigs embodied in figurines, their likeness were captured in paintings here. Astro-Babe and Miss Mona Piggy is a quite tasteful (dunno if it's tasty, probably rich in turpentine). Don't forget the Flying Pig (at least their ribs are flying out of their kitchen). You look so cute and lovely, i want to eat you.

I've some questions for the pigs.

Painting, Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore
Are you wearing cow's leather?
Painting, Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore
Have i seen you somewhere before?
The Louvre, perhaps?
Painting, Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore
Forgot your space helmet and suit?

 The Food 
Bill, Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore



Pork Rib Half Rack:  9 / 10.
Of course, you can't skip their signature dish. This is the reason diners flock to this place. It's just as tender and juicy as the KL's restaurant. The Singapore kitchen understands that some customers would find the spared ribs a bit on the sweet side, and so it's served with a lemon. The lemon juice does reduce the sweetness if you don't have sweet tooth. Because of this, it earns a higher score than i gave the KL's outlet.

Spare Rib, Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore


Deep-Fried Pig Ears:  8 / 10.
I've a weakness for pig ears in Chinese style, which is stir-fried. I've never seen a deep-fried version, perhaps this is a Balinese style. When Ada told me about this dish, I pricked up my ears like a puppy. It was music to my ears, and made me grin from ear to ear. I hope i haven't talked your ear off about ear (it's ok, you still got one left).

I don't drink (anymore), which is a shame. This dish (deep-fried or stir-fried) is perfect to accompany alcohol. I still prefer the Chinese version. This is nice too for a change of taste.

Nice and crispy. Eat quickly before it goes soft.

Deep-Fried Pig Ears, Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore


Soup Buntut (Oxtail Soup):  7.5 / 10.
I enjoy oxtail soup so much i cook it at home from time to time by popular demand (from Ada). Here's my oxtail soup recipe. I have to say i like mine much better. I would give myself a 9 / 10. Of course, i'm extremely biased. (I shouldn't talk like that. I know you can't see it, trust me, i'm slapping my face quite hard repeatedly right now). Perhaps, theirs is more like a soup while mine is more like a stew, which explains its difference in the depth of richness.

This soup's flavour is a bit subdued. But the meat isn't bad, still retains some of its juice and tenderness.

I would give it a 9.5 / 10 for its price. For $8.50, that's about what i paid for the oxtail this size in Cold Storage. I'm quite sure they get a good deal from their supplier. If you enjoy oxtail soup as much as i do, you should try this (as i won't open a restaurant selling my oxtail stew anytime soon). You probably can't buy it at this price (unless they're on sales, which is usually the time i make my oxtail stew for 4 or 5 servings).

Oxtail soup, Naughty Nuri's, Capitol Theatre and Piazza, Singapore



Friday, 17 June 2016

Funny Caption 27: Cat Fist Bumps

Cat on the other side of the fence


"Psst! Over here!"

"Give me fist bumps!"

"Guess which of my paw has the coin."

"Up, up and away!"

"Listen to me carefully. The boogie man is REAL!"

"Look into my eyes...you're feeling very sleepy..."



Monday, 13 June 2016

Little Penang Kafe in Petronas Twin Tower

We went to Petronas Twin Tower for dinner at Little Penang Kafe. The words on the web is that they're good. Our verdict after trying is - as Singaporean or some Malay locals put it - okay lah!

Of course, if you haven't tried Malaysian cuisine and you're visiting Suria KLCC, this is a good place to start with.

Because of the words on the web, this place is quite busy. Don't think you can book.

Little Penang Kafe, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia

3 dishes were too much for us, but then how else would you be trying out as many dishes as possible?

Receipt, Little Penang Kafe, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia


Lorbak, Little Penang Kafe, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Lorbak (deep-fried minced pork). 7.5 / 10.
Haven't tried it before A little bit unique. Worth checking it out.

Prawn Mee, Little Penang Kafe, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Prawn Mee. 7.5 / 10.
The vermicelli and the soup is good, but the prawns are spongy.

Char Kway Teow, Little Penang Kafe, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Char Koay Teow (literally mean stir-fried rice noodles in Hokkien or Techew). 7.5 / 10.

I've been to Petronas Twin Tower before while on a cruise, but didn't get to stay here long and explored the place. We took the opportunity to explore the Suria KLCC a little more, especially in the back where the lake in the park is located.

Lobby ceiling, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
An approx 140° pano of the ceiling of one of the lobby with 3 intricate chandeliers.

Night sky, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia


A few quick trivia regarding the Petronas Twin Towers,

1.  It's the tallest building from 1998 to 2004 until it passed that trophy to Taipei 101.  6 years is an considerably long record to be held these days. Some records of the tallest buildings stood - no pun intended - for less than a year.
2.   It's build by Samsung C&T Corporation, which also built Burj Khalifa in Dubai; the tallest building in the world; a record that's held since 2009. Probably for a bit longer. It's because it's built for height at the expense of economy and practicality.
3.   It's the backdrop for the blockbuster action flick Entrapment (1999) with the famous, memorable and at the same time hilarious scene of Catherine Zeta Jones dancing and writhing around the complex webs of laser beams. Nothing can publicize / popularized a building / place quite like Hollywood.
4.  The Twin Towers have 88 stories as '8' is a lucky number in Chinese numerology. It also completed in 1998. '9' is also an auspicious number. And when used in junction with '8', doubly goody.


Here are some interior shots of Suria KLCC Shopping centre.

Dome, Interior, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia

Stairs, Interior, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Elevator, Interior, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Shopping arcade, Interior, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia

Flight simulator, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Spectators gathering around to watch somebody playing a flight simulator

Here are some exterior shots of the Petronas Twin Towers below. The middle one is Public Bank facing off the Twin Towers.

Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Public Bank, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia

Public Bank, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Public Bank, opposite Petronas Twin Towers

In the back is the KLCC park where there're regular fountain shows to attract tourists and local shoppers alike. At different time, a different fountain shows are put up.

This was what i saw that night. Look at them water danced the night away in dizzying disco lights.

Fountain Light show, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Fountain Light show, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Fountain Light show, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Fountain Light show, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Fountain Light show, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Fountain Light show, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Public Bank, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Fountain Light show, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia






I also came here the 2nd time to specifically see the mosque next to it. As far as i could see, it was fenced off.

Mosque, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia


That's ok, i just strolled around the park and took some after-the-rain snaps. It has its own mood and atmosphere. Wet and hopeful, and filled with dramatic cloudscape.

KLCC Park, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Lake Symphony in KLCC Park

Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
KLCC Park, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia

KLCC Park, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia

KLCC Park, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia

Sculptures, KLCC Park, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
At the far end of the lake is a shallow pool that has metal sculptures of a whale and dolphins installed


One day, after a dinner around Pavilion, i saw this dramatic mist formation from the distance, hanging around Petronas Twin Tower.

Shrouded in mist, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Smokey Petronas Twin Tower as seen from
BBKLCC Walkway at the Pavilion end

While i know this mist was created by the Petronas Twin Towers (or any office tower) isn't rare, but they're not everyday occurrence either. It's only happened after a light shower at just the right time in the day. If it rains in the day time, you won't see this mist. If the rain is heavy and prolonged, the mist won't develop either. If the rain starts much later in the night, the building would have sufficiently cooled down, and you won't get the mist either.

This mist is created much the same way that you get steam rising out of your skin when you stepped out of a hot shower into cooler air.

Another thing, i know this mist won't last long (i estimated to be 20 mins), and i didn't know how long this mist had been hanging around the Twin Towers. The walk from Pavilion to Petronas Twin Towers on the KLCC-Bukit Bintang (or BBKLCC) Walkway would take at least 15 mins. But when i saw that mist, i had no choice in the matter. It just drew me towards it like bee to honey (or human to skyporn).

As i was closer, i snapped a few of these photos while the mists were still whirling around the Twin Towers.

Shrouded in mist, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia Shrouded in mist, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia


While i was able to capture the nice misty smoky atmosphere, but it wasn't the best angle. So i walked - more like power walked - for another 5 mins. By the time i got to the perfect vantage point, all the mist had completely dispersed. The only mist/smoke are those from the sweat of my forehead or the angry fume from my nose (forgot to take a photo of that. But i radically enforce a strictly no-selfie policy).

Observation Bridge, Petronas Twin Tower, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia
Perfect clear night sky. Where's the mists, for heaven's sake ?!  What a mistery !

For the locals who want to capture such dramatic misty phenomenon, rush to the Twin Towers after a light shower in the early evening (between 7 to 8pm). Who know? You might be lucky.