Sunday, 25 May 2014

SHINJU SHABU SHABU

Food is something that most of us could not resist. Talking about Japanese food, it may not be a favourite to all. However, Shabu Shabu is one which I can say most would preferred under Japanese cuisine. Shabu-shabu is a Japanese dish featuring thinly sliced beef boiled in water. The term is an onomatopœia, derived from the sound emitted when the ingredients are stirred in the cooking pot. As time goes by and mixture of different country culture, this concept had been added a pinch of fusion. It doesn't only restricted to only beef anymore. It is something similar which we all know, steamboat!


What are the specialities of this place to grab the crowd? Put aside their spacious hall as a topic, they main attraction to me would definitely be their VIP room or may they called it private room. It is for privacy purposes when you wanted some privacy and some private functions which you do not want any other interruption or distraction. That's one point added to the score for that concerns by the owner to their customers where other restaurants are not providing yet.


Spacious & classy environment. Most important of all comfortable space that makes you feels like home while enjoying your meal.




They have their own sauce bar where you can take all-you-can sauce according to your preference. Having different taste bud is something personal to everyone and shall not be judge because not everyone loves or like the same taste. It is all up to your tongue to make the judge. The sauce bar definitely is an added point for this restaurant. I would say additional two points added. Chili, ginger and garlic. Light or dark soy sauce. Sesame oil, chili oil and any other sauce which you would prefer are all available for you to make that choice. 


It is incomplete for the above if there's no review about their menu ain't it? There's 2 main category in the menu. Ala-carte and set menu. Ala-carte is definitely single items ordered according to your preferences. From various selections of vegetables and balls, to a few common meat choice. 






As for set, they have a few choices which I personally think it may help you on your selection. Sets comes with a plate of meat, a bowl of assorted veges with balls, rice or noodle and of course soup base of your choice. They have up to 7 or 8 soup base selection. A few of them which I could recall are, chicken ginseng, red tom yam, white tom yam, vegetarian, corn soup 7 milk. There's a few more which I could not remember. This is how it looks like for a set menu. 


Overall, I enjoyed the food the ambiance but not really their drinks. That doesn't mean that served awful drinks BUT they had less selection on beverage which I think it would be a minus for them. If they can add in more varieties it would be great. I will definitely return for second time because it gave me satisfaction of money wise spending. Before ending it, did I not mention where they located? It is located at Permaisuri Imperial City Mall, just right beside Sajian Warisan Restaurant.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

The Extravaganza, The Borneo Jazz Festival

Just before I get started, would just like to grab this opportunity to thank a few people and party who had made this a success. First, goes out to Sarawak Bloggers who got me into this as a media and allowed me covering this event under their names. Much gratitude to be express but still thank you. Next on, Sarawak Tourism Board who had made this an annual event and world known across the globe. I was pretty much amazed and amused by all the backstage work that every committee had committed. Just as a chinese proverb saying, "台上三分钟,台下十年工"! It basically means that, it may only took you couple of minutes to perform on stage but it took more than years to prepare before hand off the stage. This is more precise proverb I could thought off to describe their hard work. 

Enough of my Oscar thank you list, we will now move back to the music festival. For the kick start and warm up, usually they started it with the Brass Band from local high school. It is an exposure to our teens and youngsters to such international event. Who knows they maybe "someone" someday. This time round they've got SMK Chung Hua & Riam Road Middle School. I am always impressed and full of jealousy when ever I saw someone who can played well with any musical instrument because I know none of them. Please keep it up and be greater than this!! (as if they gona read this, but who knows)


Having enough of starter and we shall now move on to our main course. There's much more to digest because I've got lots to share on what had the ears captured and heard. I can barely forget what I had seen and heard that night. Just like a thumb drive, I'm still having those screenshots playing on my mind.



Serving first on the menu, Diana Liu, our very own Sarawakian singer. Performing on the first day and being the first I think she did great. She have got a powerful voice for such a little body. I wouldn't say she is totally genuine jazz but it is something more fusion and mixture between a minimal of R&B genre, if I did not heard that wrongly. She did a great start to heat up the people on the ground.

Follow up right behind her is Mario Canonge from Martinique. I would say he is a total jazz musician. What he had presented during the festival was a genuine jazz in accordance to my knowledge. Do correct me if I got it wrong. I do feel surprised when he performed because to me jazz is something that wouldn't be complete without a saxophone. Hereby, he had proved me wrong. With only a piano, bass violin and a drum set, the groove were truly wonderful. However, it is something not everyone would like or enjoy. That is also something that makes him extraordinary isn't it?





All the way from Martinique, we are coming back to the homeland, Malaysia. We had something more funky with a jazz blending element. You'll be amazed that this 2 element do blend well when JunkOFunc, a Malaysian based band performing it. A band which consists of 12 members do blew off the audience out of the space with their outrageous performance. Especially the lead vocalist, Elvira Arul & Russel Curtis, they really really do impressed me! Despite of focusing with their performances, the interaction with the audience that comes out a little cheeky and hilarious do heat up the night whereas audience just couldn't stop moving their hips as if their body weren't under their controlled any more.




The crowd just couldn't cool down. Continuously one right after another hit. I wouldn't blame them because me myself was heating up when the emcee announced their appearance,Vocal Sampling from Cuba! Long awaited band for the night and they started out with the most famous hits from Teresa Teng, "甜蜜蜜" - Tian Mi Mi.

This a-cappella band had never failed to amazed me. Begins from their short performances during the tree planting ceremony and the welcoming dinner, I am looking forward to their performances and seeking for more and more surprised that they would gave to the audience. To be frank, I had high expectation on them and they did not disappointed me and whereas haven't failed to impress the crowd too. The crowd just love them much and on that moment we knew that music knows no language barrier. It just gets people close together. They ended it well for the first night of Borneo Jazz. 



Second night, we will be flying you across the globe with more global line-up which were more mesmerizing. At least I am mesmerized with some of the performers. I just can't get my eyes off them. Having this feeling of keeping eye on them every second without blinking in case I would have miss out anything. YES, you read me right. They were truly that good and awesome!!


YK Samarinda from Indonesia first on stage for the second day performance. The first band to have wear their traditional clothing and playing their traditional instrument which we named it "sape" locally. I always had this perception that traditional music used to be boring and dull BUT once again this band proves me all wrong and TOTALLY WRONG! I was just astonished with the sound that comes out from the string of the instrument could be such soothing. Totally changes my perception. Did I not mentioned that they were not the last to have their folk instrument? We have yet another band in queue which fly their instrument all the way from Georgia.

Coming back to this neighbour country group, they just got every single human amazed. It was something new and totally different, especially to the foreign tourists. Whether it is now and then, fusion or genuine, such music will never failed to melts someone heart. It was just too mesmerizing!




Did you missed out the line where I mentioned that there's another group with folk instrument? You did? Then fret not as they are coming in right now. Iriao a band from Georgia, an ethno-jazz band fully equipped with folk instrument. All these instruments will be conducted by David Kavtaradze. Having with him are Doli - a local Georgia drum, Salamuri - a flute-like of Georgian wind instruments and last but not least I think it is look alike Panduri instrument. (correct me if I get it wrong)


The music blow out and reaches the microphone then to our ears, to me it is something sharp and plain. I do not have a proper word that I could described but it is something good for sure. It is something genuine without much complex mixture. I guess that is why he need a few of them instead of just one of it to perform. It is definitely not something like what a normal drum these days or a guitar can replaced. Just like "sape" the sound is something original and irreplaceable. 




I have no picky ears. Neither do I have sensitive ears. However, I could definitely say their music is something which you can used to de-stress. You wouldn't feel stress up while listening to it. The crowd enjoyed it, I enjoyed it too. It is in fact false that music don't makes you stress. To me, genre like rock and heavy metal is something I wouldn't understand. That is why the total opposite of it which were performed by Iriao was something that I would easily attached too.


Moving from calming sensation to a grooving stage is like a slight emotional change. Flying over 17 hours abroad, hereby, we gave you a truly jazz singer all the way from United Kingdom, Anthony Strong! The crowd just gone crazy even before he started to sing his lungs out. He is truly no joke and gave an eye opening performances. Once I heard he sang, my heart melts and I'm going to be his fans right on spot. 



With his team, there's a bass violin, saxophone, trumpet and he himself on the piano. This is always what I had in mind and imagination of what jazz music should be. 

He is truly a hilarious and humble man. He interacted with the audience and that makes them including me got insane. His voice is SO SO ASTONISHING! You can feel the groove, beat and also emotion within his voice. We just wouldn't let him stop and the show have to go on and on and on. Audience were requesting more song after another. That's how attractive his voice are. 

Sending away the crowd entertainer, last to perform would be Brassballet from Germany! They are the only band who were musicians and dancers at the same time. Where on earth have you watch such performance before? I would said the band leader, Wassilij Goron do have a creative mind while setting up such band. Thanks to him, we were able to watch   
                                                                               such a splendid and unanticipated performance 
                                                                               from them.

Every single performance were eye catching and mind blowing! I wouldn't expect that their dance move would get so complicated since they are focusing more on instrument. However, they blew me out of space with such synchronise move with their instrument. It just simply blend in them naturally. The crowd just turn the land into their dance floor when the performers invited the crowd to tag along with their singing and moves. I'm once again impressed and admire at the same time. I am truly hoping to see them again. Got my fingers crossed so that they could return for next year jazz festival.




Brassballett acted as the closing blinds for Borneo Jazz with their last performances. However, the night doesn't ended just like that. Despite that it strike midnight, the night is still young and we were moving to the Pavilion with the famous spinner from Traxxfm, DJ Roundhead spinning on the deck. This was slotted in like a dessert which shall be a perfect ending for a music festival.



This is newly slotted programme for Borneo Jazz Festival. On going at the same time was the jamming session with the musicians at Ruai Lounge which I did not managed to cover. The dance floor just heated up naturally when DJ Roundhead hit the bass. You won't be able to refuse to move your hips even you know nothing about dancing. It just move naturally with the beat!




The whole festival was a blast!  It was a night changing perception towards Jazz ever since I attended it. I had so much fun and I bet everyone there that night had fun too. The old Jazz I had in mind is always calming, slow and relaxing. It was nothing close to what I had attended for the Borneo Jazz Festival, that brings so much fun! I would definitely attend it for the coming years and I finally know why people keep coming back for it. 

Last but not least, once again I would like to thank all who had involved, directly or indirectly. Glad to know each and everyone of you. I am hoping to see everyone next year! Adios~




You may also click for more photos and blog post of other Sarawak Bloggers at the link provided below :

Facebook Album
Ladybird Eileen
Abang Joe
Petrus Kalom
Fabian Augustine
Angelina

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Tree Planting Ceremony In Conjunction with Borneo Jazz Festival, 2014

It was the first thing on the schedule that the committee had planned before the real event begins. I personally think it was a great effort made because we are contributing back to the mother nature for whatever causes that we had done. 

The event was held at Tenby International School, Miri with attendance of the local and foreign media and not forgetting a few performers that were in time to get up the ride that had been provided. 




Before the official tree planting started, never forget from the usual routine, a speech from the host who were generous to be part of this meaningful event. A big gratitude to the principal, Mr Philip Brisley to be part of the ceremony. Nevertheless, Dato' Rashid Khan, CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board gave his speech about the intention behind this ceremony and I remembered well that he said, "It is an intention to contribute to our mother nature for the damages that we may not know that we had done. It is also to educate the younger generations about the importance of the nature." It was definitely straight at the point that it was true and youngster nowadays tend to forget and incautious about this fact. 



Followed by the speech was the souvenir presentation as a token of appreciation to Tenby International School from Sarawak Tourism Board, represent by Dato' Rashid Khan.


Just when I thought I am going to cover myself with soils and much sunlight, to my surprise, one of the group of performers was going to have a short performance just before we got tanned with much vitamin D! They blew me off once they opened their mouth. How can human throat produce such an amazing and soothing sound? Most of all, from an all male group!



Their short performances got my soul attached which I nearly forget that we have something more important in the list to be done. We then head out to the hall with some real business to be done. A group photo before everyone gets their hand down to the land.



By surprised again, the media (us) were told that we can have our own tree planted in the compound. What a gift and I told them I'm gona be back to see it in twenty years to see how well it grows. 



It was a great experienced since it was the first tree-planting ceremony that I had ever attended. What am I more excited of? The welcoming dinner where we will be meeting most of the performers and welcoming them in the most Borneo way. Stay tuned for more post!!~

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Grand Opening of ML Maju Pharmacy

There will be another pharmacy opening at Miri. ML Maju Pharmacy with their vision of "Your Partner for Health Living" hoping to serve and give their potential customer healthy body and sharing with them what is better for their health.

 As you had already know, there are many pharmacy around for locals choice and why is this different from others? This pharmacy targeting more to organic and health cautious product which are thoroughly selected by the owner of the pharmacy. Most of them are imported and are had quality assurance from the medical association from its own production country. Most of all, she had personally tried it, before she purchased in. This is to ensure that she may able to share her experienced and customer feels secured consuming it. It is not about having it imported but having the products which are better for consumers and them paying less. That's what the owner truly have in mind when she decided to have this pharmacy open.

What are the activities that she had planned for her customers? What could you expect for the Grand Opening? Below are the details information of what you will be expecting from them :

Date : 11th May 2014 , Sunday

Location : Lot 2409 Ground Floor, Boulevard Commercial Centre, 98000 Miri, Sarawak. (Just right beside Ajisen Ramen or opposite Magnum 4D shop)

Time : 10am onwards

Activities :

1. Free membership
2. Free products sampling
3. Special promotions on new arrival health and beauty products
4. Free blood glucose
5. Free cholesterol test
6. Free vascular age test


(early birds members who registered get samples goodies gift bag and of course while stock last)

Light refreshment provided which are also carefully selected by the owner in order to have a cleared picture of their pharmacy vision and mission to their customers.

There's many more promotions which you will only be able to find out when you are there. Do not miss this opportunity to love yourself and also your family. Bring your mum over especially on this special day. Do get her something which are available in store and I believe there must be something which is suitable for her. It is better to be health cautious than to regret.

See you there!!

JAZZ SUPERSTARS COMING TO BORNEO JAZZ IN MIRI



KUCHING, Wednesday – BRASSBALLETT is a band consisting of 11 members from Hamburg, Germany and they are ready to give the ultimate festival experience at Borneo Jazz 2014. The festival also welcomes “England’s New Jazz Superstar” Anthony Strong, as one of the awaited performers on stage this year. 


BRASSBALLETT, the band from Hamburg combines brass playing with funky dance moves, which are both aurally and visually stunning. The band considers BRASSBALLETT not just as the name of their band, but also as a new musical genre.

They are known for transforming their musicians into dancers and the rehearsal room into a dance studio. It was the brain of the bandleader Wassilij Goron who founded the band in 2011. The band plays live music mixing jazz and funk based on pop, Latin and classical themes while they dance hip hop, street style, tango, salsa and many other dance styles.





Wednesday, 7 May 2014

ETHNO JAZZ WITH A TWIST AT BORNEO JAZZ

Kuching, Monday – YK Samarinda is an ethnic Jazz band from East Kalimantan who started out as a fusion jazz band and eventually made and combined ethnic songs of Kalimantan in jazz rhythm.


The YK Band is a quartet from Samarinda whose music is an unique blend of Indonesian Borneo tunes built into western jazz techniques and improvisation. Yusuf and King formed the band in 2003 when they established some projects of ethnic songs. In 2005, the keyboardist and studio arranger Yin joined the group and later on Thrash Metal drummer Avant joined, which resulted in the group growing bigger.


In 2013, Avant decided to go for a solo career, and M. Iqbal came to join the YK band. Since then the band has found more groove and has showed impressive performances at the Java Jazz festival in Jakarta and the Mahakam Jazz Fiesta in Samarinda.

Come and see them at the Borneo Jazz Festival 2014 on Saturday, 10 May in Miri, Sarawak and enjoy their South East Asian ethno jazz with a twist.