Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chilli Culture on Sukhumvit Soi 11

All of us woke up late! at almost 11 am and we missed the Spain-Portugal semi-final of the Euro. Good that pakdokter booked the hotel room without the breakfast - learning from past experiences that we seldom got up in time for the morning meal.

pakdokter's family with a lovely glass-art  hanging on the wall

mussels salad - large mussels steamed and topped  with spicy sweet sour sauce

vegetarian spring rolls with 3 dipping sauces

tamarind prawn noodles (behind) and catfish salad with young mango slices

phad thai - fried kuey teow wrapped in fried egg
garnished with peanuts, bean sprouts
 and a banana blossom (pucuk pisang)

So off we went for brunch and the street where our hotel was had so many outlets to choose from. We settled for a Thai restaurant called the 'Chilli Culture'. It was a good choice and reasonably priced. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dinner @ MezzaLuna on the 64th Floor of the Lebua State Tower

Pakdokter had been to the Lebua State Tower on previous trips to Bangkok but was happy to take the family there again this time. The open-air dining at the 64th floor roof-top (the Dome) was fully booked so we had to settle for the upmarket fine-dining indoor restaurant  on the 64th floor called 'the Mezzaluna'.

The restaurant offered only 2 choices of dining experience - a 6-course degustation (tasting menu) or a 3-course set menu with a few selections for each of the courses. The degustation menu comes with a choice of paired wines with each of the courses.

The menu changes every day depending on what the 3 chefs decide to buy from the fresh-market that day.

For pakdokter's night out there, the day's dishes were mostly fish and seafood. The set came in small portions so that one can really enjoy every one of them to the end. They were also tops in the way the dishes were presented.

The price was naturally steep for such an establishment - in the range of RM400 to RM700 per head.

The open-air roof-top restaurant was fully booked but the Sky Bar was accessible for drinks and for a commanding view of the city. The Chao Phraya meanders by the side of the Lebua State Tower and the Bangkok Shangrila only rose up about half-way the height of the State Tower .

Terminal 21 Shopping Mall

Pakdokter stayed at the Aloft Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11 - one of the entertainment, dining and shopping districts of Bangkok. Nearby are several shopping malls and pakdokter decided to check out one of the newer ones - The Terminal 21. It is named as such to reflect the somewhat of an airport architectural design and each floor of the 7 storey block carries a 'theme and name' of different great shopping cities of the world - Paris, London, Tokyo, Istanbul etc etc.

 the 5th Floor is the food court level
aptly called the Pier 21 of San Franscisco
the SF bridge is the hallmark of this level
food court prices are relatively cheaper than at
KL's KLCC and Pavillion

The Sukhimvit district also looks more like the Little India and Little Arab districts of Bangkok. The area is full of Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants. The Bangkok Skytrain passes through the district making it easy to go to other parts of the city on the train.

'Tailoring' in Bangkok

Thailand is famous for its 'tailor-made' shirts and suits that can be delivered in 24 hours! Another Asian city where pakdokter has seen such establishments is Hong Kong.

One can get such a service in practically any Thai cities - Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiangmai, Koh Samui etc.....and without fail these tailors would be owned and run by the ethnic Indian Thais. This community has somehow managed to dominate and (monopolise?) this segment of the economy. In the past most of the shop staff would be Burmese Indians or Nepalese whereas the owners are the Punjabis. Today pakdokter noticed local Thai girls are also employed to do the measurements especially for the lady customers - probably a need arising from the big number of Arab tourists who would not like their partners to be handled by men.

Shirts cost between Rm80 to Rm150 a piece depending on the material selected and the a whole range of cotton, mixed-cotton and linen materials are available. Woolen Suits ( jacket and pants) would cost in the range of Rm600.

After measurements made, fittings would be done 6 to 12 laters later and the ready-to-wear garments can be delivered to the hotel room in 24 hours!

Bangkok Here We Come

Wednesday, 27th June 2012

Pakdokter had not been to Bangkok for at least 2 years now. After a successful golfing trip to Chiangmai in March this year, the STAROBA Golf Club chose to do a golf tour of Hua Hin this time. The group will come in on Saturday - pakdokter and family decided to come earlier to spend some time in Bangkok first.

The Malaysia Airlines plane was quite full actually - half the passengers looked like they were Australians in transit via Kuala Lumpur. The flight steward mentioned that half the passengers had booked through Thai Airways which has a code-share arrangement with Malaysia Airlines.

We left and arrived on time. The Suvarnabhumi Airport was not too crowded - perhaps a sign of the bad times now in Europe and the USA. Thus clearing the immigration was quite fast. The only big tour groups were of holiday-makers from mainland China and Taiwan.

Pakdokter had booked on-line, a limousine transfer to the hotel, Aloft on Sukhumvit Soi 11 in downtown Bangkok. The hotel was also booked online. The limousine company, " Oriental Escape" had sent a young girl with an Ipad in hand showing pakdokter's name on it. Upon being identified, we were walked to the lane outside the arrival hall where the limousine came to pick us up. And the limousine driver was also a young girl who spoke good English.

The drive to the hotel took about 40 minutes and had it not been for the traffic it would have been faster. Pakdokter noticed that the toll on the airport highway cost about RM30 - that was a lot more expensive than the toll from KL to KLIA.

The Express Airport train is already in operation. Pakdokter learnt from the limousine driver that it cost only 150 bahts ( RM15) for the 15 minutes trip from downtown to the airport. However she said it is not convenient if you have too much big luggage for the coaches do not have proper baggage compartment. So our ERL is definitely better! The Bangkok Airport Express is good if you are travelling light. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

RSGC Sunday Buayas - Week 3 of June 2012

Sunday, 24th June 2012

Pakdokter (19), Ahmad Khalid (11), and Ismail Sharif (18) of the RSGC Sunday Buayas group played in the RSGC Senior Masters 2012 event this Sunday. We were joined by Zahardin Omardin (22), pakdokter's golfing buddy who went to Ireland last year and to Indonesia, Thailand, China, Japan and Hong Kong previously.

Lack of sleep due to waking up to watch the Euro Soccer matches at 3 am in the morning must have affected pakdokter's game. Pakdokter returned a poor score of 52 and 50 0n the Old Course thus only managing to get a score of 25 stableford points. AK also played poorly and missed many near putts - finally only obtaining 24 points. Zahardin got 28 points and Ismail Sharif managed to score 34 points. The highest points were 35 - returned by Wong Kang Yeow (10), Tommy Lee (18) and Datuk Dr Hussein Awang (24).

2 flights of 7 golfers played in the usual Sunday Buayas and Tg Muzafar (20) made back the money he lost pakdokter, Syed Hazrain and Tg Farith the day before when he returned a score of 35 stableford points.

The dry spell the past 2 months is finally showing its effect on the golf course. There are many dry and brown patches on the fairway and the water level in the lakes has dropped considerably.

 the lakes drying up fast these few days

 the carps and tilapias barely have water to swim in

Ja ( Tg Muzafar) won the Sunday pool playing +1 to his handicap of 20
his brother, Tg Azman, and Sazali, both had to buy 'temakis' today

The RSGC AGM 2012

Saturday, 23rd June 2012

The RSGC AGM 2012 was held on Saturday afternoon. Pakdokter rounded up Tg Farith (19), Tg Muzafar (20) and Syed Hazrain (14) to play in the morning so we could attend the AGM and take part in the election of a new committee for the Club in the afternoon.

Pakdokter played very well in the 1st Nine of the New Course - returning a gross score of 44 thus winning 4 balls each from the two Tengkus. Syed Hazrain got away with a 'sunshine' after pakdokter allowed him to square pakdokter only at the last hole.

Knowing pakdokter always could not keep up the game into the 2nd Nine due to flagging stamina - they all doubled up on pakdokter into the 2nd Nine. What a mistake for all of them. In the end Tg Farith lost 12 balls, Syed Hazrain 2 balls and Tg Muzafar got away with a whisker when he only won 2 balls to cancel out the 4 he lost in the 1st Nine.

Pakdokter returned a score of 44 and 49.

The AGM 2012 drew a big crowd - half the members wanted to vote for the club membership to be made 'transferable' and the other half did not wish so. In the end - the ordinary resolution put up for this could not be put to votes as the lawyer engaged by the committee had advised that it could not be done. The discussion on this issue went on and on for too long that pakdokter decided to just queue up in front of the voting counter and was one of the first to exercise pakdokter's rights to vote in pakdokter's choice of the new office-bearers.

Pakdokter's selection of office-bearers all made it into the committee. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day Dinner @ Castells

Sunday, 17th June 2012

Pakdokter and partner wanted to have our usual Stilton Steak @ Castells in PJ but the restaurant had run out of it that night. So pakdokter setttled for the t-bone steak which was on offer that night. Although tasty, the meat was chewy with streaks of tendon to boot. All in all it was an OK dinner. Castells will be closed from the end of this month for renovations and a makeover and will be reopened in September.

Hishamuddin Alam Shah Trophy and Week 3 of June of the RSGC Sunday Buayas

Sunday, 17th June 2012

The Hishamuddin Alam Shah Trophy is a golf competition hosted by RSGC @ RSGC every year and is open to all members of golf clubs located in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Every qualifying club is entitled to send 3 participants for this tournament. For some reason, most of the eligible clubs did not send in their participants in the past. When pakdokter checked with the RSGC office, it looked like it will be the same this year. So pakdokter took the initiative to invite some of pakdokter's friends from the eligible clubs and managed to sign up 3 golfers from the KGSAAS to come. Other outside participants came from KRTU, Kelab Golf Kampong Kuantan, KDE and a few others. Altogether about 50 golfers finally took part in the game.

Pakdokter was down with exhaustion from playing the Blue Label Trophy on Thursday and the interport against Hong Kong Golf Club on Saturday. The strong humid sun and the thick haze from forest fires in Sumatera made things worse. Pakdokter blamed all these for pakdokter's poor performance - pakdokter scored a gross of 109!

The winner for the Hishamuddin Alam Shah Trophy was James Teh from RSGC who played a net score of 69 to his handicap of 14. Te best gross score was a golfer from Kg Kuantan who scored 71 on his handicap of 7.

Pakdokter's RSGC Sunday Buayas also played in our usual Sunday game and produced another new winner - the young Adam Aziz who played 1-under to his handicap of 21.

Lundbeck Malaysia 10th Year Anniversary Dinner

Saturday, 16th June 2012

Lundbeck Malaysia is one of the top Neuroscience companies - marketing many high-quality psychiatric and neurological drugs like Fluanxol, Cipram, Lexapro, Ebixa and the latest Saphris. The company organised a dinner to celebrate their 10th year in Malaysia and pakdokter was invited to the function which was held at the Tamarind Hill Restaurant in the city. We were presented with a brief on the company and later entertained to a dinner of Thai-Vietnamese dishes. Pakdokter met up with many Malaysian psychiatrists who happened to be attending the Malaysian Psychiatric Conference at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel that weekend.

pakdokter seated with Dr Lee Moon Keen and Dr Yap Chin Hong
Dr Robert Jalleh standing with the girls from Lundbeck

RSGC played at home against Hong Kong Golf Club

Saturday, 16th June 2012

Pakdokter was paired with Faidz ( who replaced Tg Muzafar who pulled out at last minute) to play against the Hong Kong pair of William (14) and Datuk KK Ong (17). The RSGC course has always proved difficult to our visitors - not only did they find it long, but our greens are generally fast for them.

We started form the par-5 hole 15 and led by 1 at the 18th. Both Faidz and pakdokter did not play to our average form as we were both still recovering from the Blue Label Championship the day before. The current heat wave and hazy air did not help. Luckily for us our counterparts played just as poorly and allowed us to keep our lead until the last hole.

We contributed 2 points to RSGC and the rest also mostly won against their HK opponents thus giving the RSGC a comfortable victory over the visitors.

The return match will be played in Hong Kong some time in November.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Blue Label Dinner

After the Johnnie Walker Blue Label game- we were all entertained to a cocktails of Italian finger food and canapes with free flow of whisky sour and Blue Label whisky served any way you like

Dinner was a 4-course Italian dinner prepared by the Modesto's - a pear and rocket salad folowed by the cream of pumpkin soup, then a choice of either the lamb shank or panfried fillet of cod and lastly the Modesto's tiramisu.

The main and novelty prizes were made up of bottles of Blue Label.

 pre-dinner cocktails

 pakdokter, Faidz, Azlan and Tg Muin

pear and rocket salad

 cream of pumpkin soup

 the lamb shank

Tiramisu Modesto

and finally, a 'toast' to Jayme, Blue Label Brand Manager
who celebrated her birthday today

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Trophy 2012 @ RSGC

Thursday, 14th June 2012

This is the second time that this tournament is being held at the RSGC and only open to RSGC members. The best gross and best net winner will win a fully-paid business class trip to Scotland to play and dine with Greg Nroman the 'Shark' at the Gleneagles in Scotland. Last year Alex Hwang took the best gross prize and Tg Muin Putra took the best net prize. And they both came back with a glowing report of their trip to Scotland.

Pakdokter and about 50 other golfers signed up for the tournament this year. Competition fee was RM1000 per person but this was more than being made up by the goodies - a bottle of  Johnnie Walker 'Blue Label worth RM 650, 2 high-quality tee-shirts, two tubes of golf balls, a golf cap, a golf umbrella, a golf towel and a golf travelling bag. On top of that we were treated to a sumptous lunch and after the game to a cocktails followed by a 4-course Italian dinner. Free flow of 'Blue Label' was served during the cocktails and dinner.

Pakdokter played in a flight with esteemed colleagues from the RSGC - Tg Muinuddin Putra (20), Azlan Abdullah (CEO of Mycron Steel) (20), Faidz Izham ( Senior Manager Celcom) (19). Pakdokter played to current handicap of 19. 

Pakdokter partnered Tg Muin to play in a side-bet with Faidz partnering Azlan. We started from the 10th tee of the Old Course. With a bogey at the 10th, pakdokter took the par-5 11th with a par after getting the ball on the green for 3. However pakdokter seemed to be atrracted to the water a lot - losing 2 balls to the water at the par-5 15th, then again at the par-4 16th. In the end pakdokter only managed to return a 53 for the 2nd Old Nine. Luckily the others in the flight played just as bad and pakdokter and Tg Muin only won RM5 from the other pair!

Our opponents doubled up for the 2nd Nine. It was a close match - pakdokter winning a few holes to keep the opponents at bay and we reached the final hole still square. Pakdokter's drive was way to the right and under and behind some trees. Using a 1-iron - pakdokter managed a good shot that swerved to the right 10 yards marker. With a 6-iron, pakdokter hit a great 3rd shot that went about 10 feet in front of the pin. Azlan struggled to reach the green and was out of contention. Faidz reached the green in 4 about 6 feet to the right of the pin. Tg Muin hit a great 3rd shot to nearly just about 3 feet to the pin. Pakdokter putted to about 6 inches of the pin and tapped in for a 5. Faidz had to put in to square and the tension obviously was too much for him and he missed it and settled for a 6. So pakdokter and Tg Muin won RM60 each from then for this Nine.

Pakdokter did much better in this Nine - returning a score of 47. But the overall score was obviously not good enough for the trip to Scotland. The best gross score went to ex-footballer Wong Hung Nung who returned a score of 73 ( 1 over). The best net winner scored 5-under to his handicap of 18.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Birthday Dinner @ Tamarind Springs

Sunday, 10th June 2012

 durian cheese-cake

sago and pandan ice-cream with cendol
served in a young coconut

Pakdokter's partner had organised a small dinner to celebrate pakdokter's birthday, today, at the newly discovered restaurant, The Tamarind Springs, located in the bowels of Taman Tun Abd Razak, Ampang. A small party of friends, Ravi and Siti, Kamal and Susan, Carlos and Grace, Zahardin and Fiona, Rose, Mia and Adelia joined pakdokter's family at this cozy Thai-Malay restaurant.

We had the sotong donuts and spicy mussels for starters. The main dishes were beef panggang, udang galah with sweet spicy sauce, green curry chicken, steamed fillet of seabass and kerabu paku ( a salad of wild ferns).

RSGC vs SICC Day 2

Sunday, 10th June 2012

Pakdokter partnered AK again on the second day and our opponents from SICC, Ivan and Vincent, both play to handicaps of 24. So they both got 12 strokes from AK and 5 strokes from pakdokter.

We teed off from the 15th tee as on Day 1 and pakdokter started off poorly when pakdokter nearly pull the drive into the left lake. AK also topped the second shot and we were only saved at this hole because the SICC players did not hit long and only managed to reach the long par-5 hole in 4 or 5. They again found the putting green fast and difficult - and pakdokter just managed to square them here with an 8 as all 3 of us had a stroke here from AK. Pakdokter hit a good drive at the par-4 16th and hit another good second shot with a 7-iron from 150 yards or so but the ball rolled across the green to the edge of the bunker. Ivan reached the green in 3 and 2-putted for a 5. Having to stand in the deep bunker to hit out the ball from the sloping edge was difficult for pakdokter - in the end just managed to square the SICC guys again here.

We finished the 18th hole square - pakdokter was 'off form' from very early - reasons? - not enough sleep as was up watching the Euro Football from 2 am and then the Fedex St Jude Golf in USA.

Throught the 1st Nine of the Old Course - we were closely matched by the SICC pair, they took advantage of the 12 strokes they had off AK and pakdokter not being able to match them in many holes.

When we moved on the remaining 5 holes of the 2nd Nine of the Old Course -we were still 1-down t them.They kept the position there until the last 2 holes when we were 2 down with 2 to go and they had no more strokes from us. AK took the 13th hole to go 1 down and we were hoping to take the last hole 14th to at least square the game and contribute 1 point for RSGC. But we were not so lucky - we could only square them at the last hole thus losing the match with 1 and 0.

 Ivan, AK, pakdokter and Vincent

However, in the overall game - RSGC trounced SICC for both the Men's Competitions for the Hashim Ali and Loke Wan Tho Trophies. The RSGC Ladies and won the game against their SICC counterparts for their own trophy. And RSGC won by quite big margins!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

RSGC vs SICC @ RSGC : Day 1

Pakdokter played in the interport match between RSGC and SICC ( Singapore Island Country Club) today.  Pakdokter partnered Ahmad Khalid to play against Lim and Lee from SICC. Pakdokter now plays to a handicap of 19, AK 12, Lim 14 and Lee 18. Both Lim and Lee were previously based in Shanghai and are new members to the SICC and this is their first trip to RSGC. They were quite impressed at how central our club is in the city.

Pakdokter had so far managed to retain his form since playing very well in the monthly medal 2 weeks ago. Quite often pakdokter outdrove AK by about 10 yards quite easily. The SICC opponents put up a good fight. We started from the 15th hole and by the time we played the 18th hole ( after playing 4 holes) we were 1-down to them. Pakdokter and AK played well in the next 9 holes ( the 1st Nine Old Course) - pakdokter's pars at the hole 4 and 7 and AK's great putting when it mattered helped us to lead by 2 when we finished the 9th hole.

The SICC pair were not easily demoralised - they came back strongly and reduced their deficit to 1 down when we played the 18th hole. Lim's chip from the apron left him for an easy par from about 3 feet. AK - although  was 1 on on this par 3 hole over-putted to about 15 feet above the hole. Thanks to him - he putted in for a par from the difficult downhill putt and squared the holemto enable us to win the match and give RSGC 2 points.

RSGC led SICC today 28 to 12.

Ahmad Khalid, pakdokter, Lim and Lee

we started from hole 15 and we 1-down at the 18th

 pakdokter 2 pars and AK's great putting
 gave us a 2 holes lead at the 9th hole
we went on to win at the last hole 18
 after leading by 2 at the 16th hole

 dinner was a great buffet with fresh oysters,
roast whole-lamb, roast beef,
satay, barbeque seafood and chicken, pizza
and a free flow of wine, beer and soft drinks

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Walking the Streets of KL

Pakdokter broke the LCD screen of the BlackBerry handphone when it slipped off pakdokter's hand and went crashing down on to the floor. So, on Thursday morning, pakdokter took the Monorail from KLSentral to Imbi and from there walked to the Low Yat Plaza, KL's largest electronic mall. Yes, a replacement for the BB's LCD screen was available for RM250 and would be ready in an hour's time. 

From Low Yat Plaza, pakdokter then walked to Changkat Bukit Bintang where the 'Summit Holidays' travel and tour company office was located. Pakdokter had earlier bought a 'Safari' package to Kenya and Tanzania for August and now that all bookings have been confirmed, pakdokter had to settle the balance of the tour price.

With time to kill, pakdokter walked to Lot 10 and went to its Isetan Department Store to browse through its golf section. So many things were on sale - dedicated to the coming 'Father's Day' celebration. Realising that pakdokter already have 5 golf sets at home - pakdokter had to fight the urge to spend on things that pakdokter really did not need.

From Isetan, pakdokter walked back to Low Yat Plaza to collect the handphone. It was ready and worked perfectly. The almost 2-year old hnadphone is still working perfectly - and pakdokter was glad that pakdokter had only spent RM250 on the LCD screen instead of losing out to the temptation to buy a new up-to-date machine that would have cost RM2000!

From Low Yat Plaza pakdokter walked all the way on Jalan Bukit Bintang to the Pavillion. Pakdokter decided to have a Nasi Padang lunch at one of the food-stalls at its Food Republic Food Court. Rice and 3 dishes topped on the plate of rice - masak kuning nangka muda, masak gulai asam ikan yu, and thin slices of bitter gourd (peria) fried with egg - came to RM11. A similar choice of nasi campur at the Sooka Sentral Food Court near pakdokter's home would have cost only RM7 to RM8......The difference must be in the rental rates. Anyway, the dishes did not come to pakdokter's expectation, the servings at Sooka Sentral were any time better.

The Pavillion Mall is now connected to the KLCC by an elevated airconditoned walkway. The folks of the city have taken to this new facility quickly - walking along this walkway felt like walking along a busy Tokyo subway passages. Half-way along the elevated walkway, pakdokter saw the KL City Walk - a lane sandwiched between the highrise buildings opposite the KLCC. And pakdokter decided to check this out.

This is a nicely paved walkway - lined on one side by stalls mostly occupied by food and drinks outlets. Some boutiques and shoe shops have closed down. Only the food outlets could survive since this street was opened ( a year ago?). There is also a stage half-way down the street - the notice there said that live performances were staged there.

This street looked interesting and well thought out. But it needs more promotional effort. Pakdokter bets that not many KLites are aware of this street. Perhaps only office workers in the neighbourhood, residents of the nearby condominiums and tourists from the nearby hotels would have chanced upon this street.

DBKL ( City Hall) - if it is the one who developed this street - should look into how to enliven this street. Perhaps a flea market, bazzaar, art and craft market with live performances should be organised every Saturday and Sunday to draw the crowd here. Then perhaps most of the businesses here could have survived!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Race to Medan - Game 5 @ Kota Kemuning Golf Course

pakdokter played in the 5th game of the 'Race to Medan' series today at Kota Kemuning. Only 8 golfers turned up and pakdokter played with Rais Mansor (13), Khairul (13) and Yaakob (13). They were all impressed by pakdokter's improvement since the last game and acknowledged pakdokter's new handicap of 19. Pakdokter hit many good drives, often almost reaching the greens in regulation in many holes. But pakdokter will have to improve on the short game and the putting. A few of the holes should have been easy bogeys instead of a double or triple bogey. Despite of this pakdokter came home with a reasonably ggod score of 49-48 for a total of 97, giving a net score of 78.