Saturday, October 31, 2015


For those who aren't adept at deciphering Chinese characters like yours truly, the title roughly translates to 'The 17th Genting National High Poles Lion Dance Competition: Warm-Up Round'.

Back when I was just a little boy, I was already fascinated with the art of lion dancing. According to my mother, I would get really excited when I see lion dancers performing, and would rush towards them and stay fixated watching them perform. It was much later on that I got acquainted with the art of dragon dancing, but my love for lion dancing did not fade a bit even until today.

The competition took place over a span of two days, with the first heat being held in Holiday Plaza Johor Bahru on 30th October 2015 and the second heat at Plaza Sentosa Johor Bahru on the following day, both at 3pm. The teams performed to their very best, and the audience were entertained by a series of dangerous yet thrilling acrobatic stunts.

This would be a post filled with pictures, it's the next best way (second to motion picture) to admire the beauty of this traditional art form rooted deeply in Chinese culture:

AFC Champions 2015.

Photo credits: JOHOR Southern Tigers Facebook Page

There was a time when people said we were living a dream too big.

There were also people who said we couldn't do it.

Today, Southern Tigers created history.

Thank you, Harimau Selatan, and thank you Tunku Mahkota Johor, for giving us Johoreans another thing to be proud of.

Photo Credits: JOHOR Southern Tigers Facebook Page

AFC Champions 2015.

Welcome home to Johor Darul Ta'zim!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ho Seng Kee Wantan Noodles.

Ho Seng Kee Wantan Mee (Lot J6-07, Level 6, Johor Bahru City Square, No. 108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook), undoubtedly the best wantan mee in my books. Mee is what Malaysians and Singaporeans in general call our noodles, and wantan, to the best of my understanding is derived from yun tun in Mandarin Chinese, which when translated roughly carries the meaning of 'swallowing clouds', possibly referring to the texture of the wantan, likened to clouds. That's the beauty of the Chinese language, especially with the euphemisms we use to describe what we love the most, FOOD!

When anyone asks me for food recommendations in Johor Bahru, the first thing that comes to mind: Ho Seng Kee wantan mee, definitely one of the top three in my must-try list. Having grown up with this unique wantan mee, it's practically what I regard as the Holy Grail of wantan mee! Although there are many other stalls offering their signature wantan mee (and trust me, I've tried so many wantan mee stalls in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru that I can't really keep track of the numbers anymore), this is still the taste I've never gotten sick of since I took my first bite till now. From that iconic stall in one of Jalan Meldrum's kopitiam to their own premise in Century Garden, I've been an avid supporter, and I've continued to have my weekly fix (or more!) of Ho Seng Kee even after they shifted their operations to City Square Johor Bahru, which frankly is not as accessible as when compared to where they were operating at before the shift.

XXL Noodle Original

XXL Noodle Spicy

Medium Noodle Spicy

The broth that comes with your bowl of noodles, flavourful!

Some have said their noodles are exactly like the infamous SabX2 Pratunam Wantan Noodles in Thailand, but there's still a flavour in Ho Seng Kee's version that cannot be reproduced elsewhere. Although the texture of the noodles at Ho Seng Kee today pales in comparison to what was served by their pioneers, you can still be assured it's one of the best tasting bowl of wantan noodles you can find in Johor Bahru. The current owner did tell me that he is grateful for his customers' support throughout these years, but he too hopes customers can give the new generation of cooks a chance to accumulate experience towards serving up that perfect bowl of wantan mee in the near future.

By the way, for bargain hunters: they are now running a promotion where you only pay RM 9.00 nett for a bowl of medium-sized wantan mee and a glass of barley water, running from Monday to Friday, 10am-3pm. Fret not if you miss that timing, from 3pm-9pm daily, you could also have the option to simply add another RM 1.00 in exchange for a glass of barley water, coffee, tea or soft drinks, applicable to an order of wantan mee in any of the two sizes offered in their menu. I am not sure to when would this promotion end, so my advice would be to go as often as you can to make the best out of it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Volkswagen Malaysia Screws Up Again... Subaru's In The Same League Too!

Seems to me this is where Made In Malaysia Proton shines through despite Malaysians' non-stop complaining about the quality of our national automotive company. I would have to say, in comparison with the Japanese and European carmaker mentioned above, the after sales support rendered by Proton is better by leaps and bounds in every sense you can think of.

Personally, I purchased a Subaru Forester XT sometime ago, and as all new vehicle owners should be, I was over the moon with my new ride. But that great feeling didn't last long. Although the vehicle delivered what it promised in terms of drivability especially in the aspect of power and torque, mine came with an annoying problem: the vehicle shakes and vibrates in idle, at low rpm. This problem I faced was not negligible, it was extremely annoying especially when stopping at traffic lights and in traffic jams, you can feel the vehicle vibrating and shaking at 15-20 seconds intervals. It also doesn't help that the Subaru Forester came equipped with an awesome sound system by Harman Kardon, but its pretty much impossible to relax and enjoy what it's capable of putting out with this annoyance that came as a package with my brand new vehicle.

My first brush with the irresponsible attitude of Subaru Plentong, Johor Bahru, which is managed by Motor Image Malaysia was actually when I approached them right after I collected my vehicle, where I noticed one of the connecting plastic handles on the driver's side door was not sitting flush. The staff at the service centre quickly tried to shrug off responsibility as soon as I pointed out the possible defect. They then tried to rectify the problem for me, but was unsuccessful in doing so, at the same time leaving marks caused by prying a screwdriver from various possible angles trying to close the gap in between the plastic handles. As a result of their amateurish actions, my less than 3 hours old vehicle left the service centre adorned with new marks and scratches, still bearing a gap between the plastic handles.

As for the vibrating/shaking problem, I highlighted this problem to the service advisor during my first service, and while they promised to look into the problem, it was not solved by the time the car was returned to me. As the problem seemed to amplify as time went by, I returned to the service centre numerous times but never left with a smile on my face. I even gathered information from various online sources such as forums where owners in other countries who faced the same problem had their problem rectified, complete with solutions and part numbers replaced, but Subaru Plentong service centre did not even attempt to show any interest in the matter. After some probing into the matter, I was told by their service advisor that in fact, there were other owners who lodged a complaint regarding the same matter, but the owners did not follow up and decided to 'live with it'. I was even advised by the service advisor to just directly lodge a formal written complaint to their HQ office as that is the only way to get things done. Its now nearly 2 years into owning this vehicle and its sad to say, I'm still straddled with this vibrating/shaking problem, and I've been 'living with it', like what the other owners are doing. Upon enquiry, I was also told that I could not send my vehicle to other more competent and experienced workshops to put an end to this problem as I would have my warranty voided by doing so.

It's also funny that I had the honour of experiencing this problem as Subaru engines are supposed to perform smoother and quieter as compared to other manufacturers because of its boxer engine layout, which they take utmost pride in. You can even see it being advertised prominently as one of their main selling pitch, as soon as you step in to their showroom.

So, that is the case with my experience with Subaru Plentong, managed by Motor Image Malaysia. What's the story then with Volkswagen? In Malaysia, they have been hitting the news often enough with disgruntled customers taking their dissatisfaction to social media and the newspapers, but I did not give much attention to it, since I do not own or plan to own any of their vehicles just yet. However, I got a text message from a friend of mine in Kuala Lumpur in the evening, asking for help in sharing his latest status update on Facebook, hoping to make it viral so that it catches the attention of netizens, especially current Volkswagen owners or potential owners in Malaysia.

Below is his Facebook status in regards to the matter, copied verbatim:
On Friday (9/10/2015), my girlfriend sent her car in for a faulty door lock fix under her warranty at Volkswagen TTDI (Cergaz Autohaus Sdn Bhd).
Upon arrival, Mr. Mohan (Service advisor) took her keys and drove it to the service area. After waiting for more than an hour, my girlfriend was notified by Mr. Syed Hasrul (Customer Care Advisor) that her car had a small accident whilst it was driven into the service bay.
VW is responsible for the damage and full cost of the repairs. What really irked me is:
1. Why do they promise their client that the car can be fixed in 5 days when they cannot deliver?
2. Upon stating the promised date, Mr. Syed Hasrul (Customer Care Advisor) assured that all the needed parts are available and that there will be no delay.
3. On the 20/10/2015, Tuesday. I called VW three times to check on the car and all three times I was put on hold for a very long time. I also called Mr. Syed Hasrul (Customer Care Advisor) via his mobile phone but was unable to get through.
4. After several attempts, I finally got through their line and I was told by Mr. Mohan that the car is not ready for collection. Reason being, parts are yet to arrive at the service centre for installation when we were told that we could pick up the car on Thursday (15/10/2015)
5. Mr. Mohan (service advisor) was not able to give me a specific date as to when the parts will arrive and when will my girlfriend be able to collect her car (20/10/2015, Tuesday).
6. On Thursday (15/10/2015) , I filed a complaint via VW HQ hotline, and VW Facebook page. Since then, I am yet to receive any form of feedback from a representative with regards to this. authorities or higher management. This is the kind of after sales service we receive from VW after they have made our money.
7. Is it necessary for VW to take 11 days and counting to fix a dent in a car that they caused?
8. Mr. Mohan and Mr. Syed Hasrul, till today, there is still no concrete solution on how are you and VW will compensate my time and money wasted.
9. VW, I hope to get an answer regarding the resolution of this matter. We pay a lot for your cars and expect better after sales service from a brand of your caliber. My girlfriend has been inconvenienced as she has been left without her car for almost two weeks.
P/S: I generally do not like to make complaints towards the service industry as I am also from the same industry. However, the service I have gotten from VW Malaysia is repulsive.
I get better service at a Proton, a local service centre. For a Malaysian brand, they do a lot better than world renown Volkswagen and my hat is off to them.
Please do help by sharing this status on my Facebook Page. 

His post also came attached with 2 photographs, so here they are:

Credits to: Daryl Chew Roy Way

Subaru Malaysia and Volkswagen Malaysia, I seriously hope you up your game if you want to retain the support of your loyal customers. We put our trust in you, please give us the confidence that our trust did not end up at the wrong place.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Liberica Coffee.

My Liberica Coffee, where you can find one of the finest coffee in Johor Bahru. They currently have a few outlets located throughout Johor Bahru, but My Liberica Coffee@Taman Molek (73, Jalan Molek 3/10, Taman Molek, Johor Bahru) is my usual go to place for a dose (or two, sometimes even three!) of caffeine fix.

This place is definitely worth a mention in my book, as I've fallen head over heels in love with their coffee, especially the Iced Drip Coffee pictured below:

My usual fix

I had my fair share of cafe-hopping in Johor Bahru, but this particular cafe is still where you can find me faithfully returning to each time. They not only serve one of the best coffee in town according to my palate, but another big reason that keeps them on top of the competition definitely are their baristas. They are extremely passionate about their coffee, in addition to an eagerness in sharing everything coffee with their customers; you just have to start a conversation with them to experience their great attitude!

Barista Shao Wei flaunting his magic

Our coffee-cupping source for today, brought by my buddy Sherman, who's also the one that introduced me to this wonderful art form

If you'd ask yours truly for coffee recommendations, I only have good things to say about this cafe and their offerings. I just can't seem think of any negative feedback on them no matter how hard I try to!