Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Satisfying Dinner in Abu Dhabi

Yesterday we worked late and had no choice but to eat out. Pity my colleagues as they have to be held at the site cause we have only one vehicle for ferrying us to and back from work. One of my colleague suggested to try eating at a new restaurant I've never been to. She says it's in the same direction back home. So every one agreed. However I think we spent nearly 1 hour just to arrive at the location due to my colleague can't remember the exact way and another colleague tried to be Mr. Garmin and brought us to few dead ends.
The restaurant name is Noodles Bowl. A Malaysian restaurant which serves many of Malaysian famous food. I ordered a Flat Noodles in Seafood Sauce (it is Wan Tan Hor if you are wondering ) and Shrimp Chee Cheong Fun. I also managed to taste some Malaysian food that I have been missing for some time like Dim Sum and Fried Kueh Teow.

Its been awhile I had such a satisfying meal in Abu Dhabi.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Back From Heaven, Straight To Hell

I'm back from a great trip in Sichuan, China. Visited the busy city of Chengdu, cute and cuddly pandas, amazing ancient hydraulic technology, breath taking Huang Long and Jiu Zhai Gou, gigantic Buddha in Leshan and relaxing Emeishan.

I'm now back in Abu Dhabi, sitting in a never ending problem at BMC project and lonely bed room at home.

What a big contrast.

Anyway, read this touching picto story in FB (shared by Darek from Lowyat Forum) and decided to share it too at Ed's Place. I know some of you might have read it before, sorry cause I'm a little slower. There might be others that have not seen it. Cheers :-)

In the mean time, I'm sorting out thousands of pictures snapped in my Sichuan trip to be edited and uploaded to Flickr & Facebook. Have some patient ok? ^^

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Big Event

4th June 2010
Westin Resort & SPA, Langkawi

I was wide awake early in the morning. Despite lying on the extra comfortable bed and wonderful atmosphere at Westin, I just could not put myself to slumber. In my heart, I know why I was not able to. It was not just happening on that particular day, it had been a occurring since the last few days.

I made the decision to wake up, brushed my teeth and changed. Looking at the bed, Furby was still deep in slumber. Gently brushed her hair and pecked her forehead, enough to wake her up a little, I told her that I am going out for a walk in the hotel area and take a few shots with my camera. But in my mind I know there was something more than that I need to do.

I walked to the hotel Reception, there was this petite sized lady named Ms. Azlina there talking to some hotel guest. I waited for them to finish their business. When my turn came, I talked to Azlina and told her my requests and arrangements that required the Westin's staffs help. The conversation took about 15 - 30 minutes, several other staffs came and go, some of them got really exited, some gave me a confident smile enough to entrust them with my quest. I left the Reception and headed to the beach and pool. Took a few shots and returned to my room.

Furby is still sleeping when I entered the room. Woke her up and ask her to get herself ready as we are leaving for breakfast and internet session at nearby cafes. Westin does not provide free internet and we opt for free internet hot spots at Starbucks, Big Apple and Kenny Roggers. It was according to my plans perfectly for us to leave the hotel in order for the arrangements to take place during our absent.

We spent around 2 hours and returned to the hotel. I handed Furby the room key and she entered the room with me following closely at the back. Our room was cleaned by the hotel's Housekeeping with something extra that I had requested. Furby was surprised! I could hear her repeating "Oh my god!" and "Why is our room decorated?". Our bed was decorated nicely with rose petals. A bottle of champagne was chilled in an ice bucket. Our room's bathtub is filled with pure white bubble and speck of rose petals. While she was in the mid of confusion, I snuck out a bouquet of roses from the cupboard and approach her from behind. She turned around and looked at me in pure confusion. I lead her to the bed and showed her something is in the middle of our bed. Covered among rose petals. A tiny red box waiting for someone to discover. I took the red box get on knees and opened the tiny red box to reveal its content to Furby.

"Will you marry me?" I asked Furby.

She was in shock, bedazzled and thinking if what she saw in front of her eyes were true. Slowly I saw tears rolling down her cheek. She took some moments to calm down and analyze. Still on my knees my heart was beating crazily not knowing how will she respond.

"I will look after you for the rest of time and love you forever and ever" I said while looking into her eyes. "Will you marry me?" I asked again. At this point of time, my mind was totally blank just waiting for her respond.

Furby's eyes was all watery and she nodded. My heart was filled with joy and I was so happy to see her simple gesture that means a world to me. I lifted the ring and slowly put it on to her finger. (I made a mistake to put the ring to her ring finger instead of her middle finger :-p) Never in my life I dreamed me putting an engagement ring to my beloved woman. I was really a heart-stopping time of my life.
I let Furby sit on the couch to let her relax herself after the mind blowing event that just shocked her. Then I lift up the bottle of Moet & Chandon and pop it open to celebrate our engagement. Must be the sweetest champagne I have ever tasted. ^^

I Love You Furby :-)

The organizers. Super helpful staffs of Westin, Langkawi who executed my proposal plan wonderfully. Many thanks to them especially to Miss Azlina of the Reception.
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/50sec, f/2, ISO 400

Flower petal decorated bed with a little surprise in the middle
D90 12-24mm f/4 lens @ 1/60sec, f/4, ISO 200, Flash fired

Heart and something extra
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/60sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, Flash fired

Flower, champagne and ring
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/60sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, Flash fired

Solitaire ring waiting for her destined owner
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/60sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, Flash fired

Moet & Chandon to celebrate us
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/60sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, Flash fired

Champagne champagne ^^
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/60sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, Flash fired

Modest complimentary gift from Westin
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/60sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, Flash fired

More flowers ^^
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/60sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, Flash fired

View of flower petal bubble bath from the bedroom
D90 12-24mm f/4 lens @ 1/15sec, f/4, ISO 250

So nice
D90 12-24mm f/4 lens @ 1/25sec, f/4, ISO 200

My beautiful fiancee ^^ (Although Furby keeps complaining that this two picture of her looks ugly >"< )
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/25sec, f/2, ISO 360

She accepted my proposal ^^ I Love You Furby
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/15sec, f/2, ISO 640

Here I would like to thank everyone who helped me for making my proposal a success. Especially my sister Emily who gave me lots of courage and helped me with my ring hunting, Ms. Azlina of Westin for arranging everything so perfectly  as I planned on my behalf and my friends and family who gave me their support and wishes. Thank you :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

FM2 + 85mm f/1.8

A little quick update. My latest addition to my poisoned path of photography.
Can't wait for next week to fetch my new baby from my bro Tan Chin Hong's place. Many thanks to him for sourcing and purchasing it for me ^.^

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Langkawi, The Finale

Langkawi has been a special place for me. Lots of nice memories are found at this wonderful island. Fun with friends, crazy moments with colleagues, romantic getaway with loved one and most importantly, realizing one of my life's most important event which I'll post about it later. Keep tuned ;-)

Below are pictures of some final moments took before parting from memorable Langkawi.

Little bird sun bathing after taking a dip in the sea. Taken at The Westin's private jetty
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/80sec, f/11, ISO 200

Furby poses at The Westin's main entrance
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 200

Furby poses at The Andaman's main entrance
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/500sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

Furby poses with the rented Honda Jazz. Great car at a reasonable rental price for RM320 for three days
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/400sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

The Westin's Airport Lounge for their hotel customer to rest while waiting for the flight. Food, beverage, internet and massage is available at a cost.
Here again I applied cross processing technique to add a different feel to the picture. Also cropped it to square and added frame to it.
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/13sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

Next up, what is the big event?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Andaman - R&R and MISC Pictures

It's been some time since I post about our trip to Langkawi. So I've decided to finish up the remaining posts and wrap up this chapter and move on with some more interesting stuff happening recentely. Some Rest and Relax and miscellaneous pictures snapped at Andaman. Our stay in Andaman is a pleasant experience. The whole environment is quiet and peaceful. Living in the middle of mother nature soothes our heart and releases our mind from the stress at work. Highly recommended to those who wants a place to escape from the busy city.

Furby relaxing and playing her Iphone at the Lobby Lounge
D90 12-24mm f/4 lens @ 24mm, 1/50 sec, f/4, ISO 200

Sweet and sexy
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/15 sec, f/8, ISO 200

Furby's sexy back.
Here I isolated Furby's body and the wooden rail and cross processed the background for a different feel.
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/20 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

Warning on the hotel room window: Monkeys will attempt to enter your room in search of food! Always lock the window!
D90 12-24mm f/4 lens @ 24mm, 1/2000 sec, f/4, ISO 200

Monkey easily spotted around the hotel. This one is happily eating a banana that I gave them ^^ Here I used my seldom utilized AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8 lens to capture this picture. It's a great lens but just sometimes hard to bring around due to it's huge size. I preferred traveling light :-p
D90 80-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 200mm, 1/1250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

Not just monkeys are abundant. Squirrels too!
D90 80-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 200mm, 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

Elegant orchid flower decorated in our room
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

Another warning sign to beware of monitor lizard crossing! We are really staying in the jungle.
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/15 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500

Rain forest trees have become part of the hotel.
D90 35mm f/2 lens @ 1/15 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900

The view from our hotel room. Cross processed the picture as the original is quite plain
D90 12-24mm f/4 lens @ 12mm, 1/320 sec, f/8, ISO 200

Next up: Final post for our Langkawi Trip

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wasabi Japanese Cuisine

Last two days ago, me and Furby had our best Japanese meal in Abu Dhabi at Wasabi Japanese Cuisine. We accidentally discover this amazing restaurant after a tiring day of work and crave for some Japanese food. We Googled for Japanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi and Wasabi was one of the first few results displayed. And one of them is a review from Time Out Abu Dhabi saying it was the best Japanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi with plenty of positive comments from people who have tried it. Then Furby suggested checking Trip Advisor if this Wasabi is really that good and turn out the reviews are also similarly promising. Feeling a little confident as previously we had tried some recommended Japanese restaurant and they turn up not so nice, I pick up my hand phone and called Wasabi to book a table.

Wasabi is located at the Ground Floor of Al Diar Mina Hotel. The hotel is on Meena Street. In between Porche's show room and Adnoc gas station. Within 5 minutes walk from Sheraton Hotel Corniche and Corniche Hospital. Once you arrive at the front of the hotel, Wasabi is very easily noticed at the right hand side.

View Larger Map

Wasabi is not a very big restaurant but still decorations in the restaurant is very similar to typical Japanese restaurants with open spaced seats, private room and at the counter. Ambient in the restaurant is great for a having a casual dinner. The selection on their menu is vast. Sake, sushi, sashimi, ramen, udon, bento or dessert is available. One notable mention is they serve PORK! Very rare food in Abu Dhabi. We tried their Chasiu, Makunuochi Bento, Mix Sushi and Ogura Red Bean Ice Cream.

Verdict: Very very nice. Chasiu is very tender and juicy. Makunouchi Bento is a huge meal with plenty of delicious dish. The braised vegetable and chicken is very good. Comes together with very fresh sashimi. Sushi is the best. All the sushi is very fresh and tastes wonderful especially the Salmon Sushi. Very fresh, tender and fat. Ogura Red Bean Ice Cream is on not as good as the others, but still taste great.

Price: Medium high. Hotel food price where two person dinner will cost around AED250 - AED300.

Now lets have a look of the pictures.

Seats at the sushi and sashimi counter where you can see the chef prepares the fresh sushi and sashimi
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 900

Private 2 seat room that for us
D90 12-24mm f/4 @ 1/25 sec, f/4, ISO 1600

Ready for order from Wasabi's menu
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 1250

On the menu's first page, Irasshaimase means welcome
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/100 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Green tea to quench our thirst first
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 450

Complimentary maki sushi while we wait for our food
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/100 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Furby looking forward for her first bite of sushi
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 1100

Appetizer: Chasiu! Pork! Our first time having pork in Abu Dhabi. Yum yum
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Thinly sliced braised pork. So nice...
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/50 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Furby is so touched
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 1250

Furby's Main Course: Makunouchi Bento
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Makunouchi Bento's appetizer: Salad in special sauce (sesame, lemon and some seafood paste i guess) and Miso soup. Both are very delicious
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Makunouchi Bento (Clockwise from top left): Teriyaki chicken, ginger and pickle, flower shaped rice with sprinkle of black sesame seed, grilled fish on lotus root, edamame (pad bean), fish cake, rolled smoked salmon strip, sweet tamago (egg), grilled salmon, braised vegetable and chicken, tatsuta-age (fried) chicken, fried prawns in sweet and spicy sauce. Very grand bento!
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 800

Makunouchi Bento: tatsuta-age chicken and fried prawns in sweet and spicy sauce in focus
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 450

Makunouchi Bento comes with sashimi too! Very very fresh salmon and tuna.
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/50 sec, f/2, ISO 400

My main course: Mix sushi. Specially selected 12 pcs of mixed nigiri and rolls.
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Nigiri Sushi: ebi (prawn), unagi (eel), salmon, squid, octopus, snapper, tuna
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Rolled sushi
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/50 sec, f/2, ISO 400

My favorite Salmon Sushi! Tender, fresh and nice feel of fat
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/50 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Dessert: Ogura Red Bean Ice Cream
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Perfect closing for a great japanese meal
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/60 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Press to have Wasabi's staff come to you and bill please.
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 450

Furby is very satisfied to have her best Japanese meal in Abu Dhabi.
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/15 sec, f/2, ISO 1600

While waiting, choose a manga from the Manga shelf.
D90 12-24mm f/4 @ 1/3 sec, f/4, ISO 1600

Selection of Sake and Shochu kept in appropriate temperature
D90 12-24mm f/4 @ 1/10 sec, f/4, ISO 1600

2007, 2008 and 2009 Abu Dhabi Time Out winner! Truly the best Japanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi.
D90 12-24mm f/4 @ 1/5 sec, f/4, ISO 1600

Total for the day.
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/160 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Please come again :-)
D90 35mm f/2 @ 1/25 sec, f/2, ISO 1600