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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

pelicana Chicken

Many years ago as a teen, I had the chance to visit HanChon, a small eatery in Sri Hartamas that no longer exists. It gave me my first experience of the Korean take on fried chicken. Unfortunately for this small and unassuming eatery, family run, yet not the most affordable made it unsustainable I guess.

Though ten years later, a ‘revival’ of Korean entertainment fandom played catalyst to Korean eateries mushrooming around Malaysia’s major cities. However, Korea’s fried chicken outlets seemed to be exempt from this phenomenon as compared to other categories such as Korean BBQ.

I suppose with fried chicken being such a common food in any metropolitan area, its hard to think of it as a Korean special, particularly in Malaysia where you have plenty of fried chicken varieties, coming from nasi kandar outlets, Chinese mixed rice coffee shop stalls, Malay nasi kukus and nasi lemak offerings.

That said, what I remembered about my experience in HanChon was that their chicken skin was always crispy and meat always tender with a distinguishable coating of sauce on top. Even from that time, I never saw it become a common local offering and I’ve been jonesing for it ever since I noticed Pelican Chicken was open at eCurve.

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This branch (of which there is another in Atria apparently) can probably seat up to 30 people comfortably at one go with a few tables inside and the rest mostly outside, next to the railing.

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As is probably apparent from the fact its located in a mall and has a cafe-like interior, it is a major chain which is highlighted probably even more by their looping tv advertisements showcasing popular Kpop bands Sistar and 2PM. We all know such endorsements aren’t cheap.

Their mode of service is identical to burger outlets such as myBurgerLab and KGB where you have to line up first, review the menu and pay before grabbing your reference number and sitting place. If you sit at a table, their staff may hand you a menu but they won’t take your order and will direct you to the pay counter. I feel that this sort of customer interaction is not well suited to Pelicana for three reasons:

  1. The full menu isn’t displayed above counter like McDonalds or myBurgerLab making it impossible to fully review the menu by looking up at the vertically rolling menu on screen.
  2. The paper menu that you’ll need to look at is extensive enough that you’ll need some time to look it through before confirming an order (unless you’re a returning customer with a one-track mind that orders the same thing all the time).
  3. For this mode of minimal service, a 10% service charge is imposed on your total  bill (which I know for a fact is non-existent at KGB).

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This service mode may work at low-peak hours, but I don’t see it being a strategic service mode if they want to service more customers at a time knowing its varied product configuration.

To show you what I mean by an extensive menu that can’t fit on three screens, take a look (click on each to enlarge):

Malaysia Pelicana Chicken Menu (page 1 of 4)Malaysia Pelicana Chicken Menu (page 1a of 4)Malaysia Pelicana Chicken Menu (page 2 of 4)Malaysia Pelicana Chicken Menu (page 3 of 4)Malaysia Pelicana Chicken Menu (page 4 of 4)

Individuals and first-timers may want to try their combos of which there are a few configurations but its basically rice with pickled vegetables and fried chicken. The thing is, there’s only one combo where you can choose the flavour of wings you want but for others you have to accept the default flavour ‘Original’, which to me isn’t very customer oriented.

Moving on to how the food itself actually is, I can say that it does taste good and is worth trying. I’ve had the chance to taste three different flavours,Original, Garlic (is not listed in the menu but is advertised on one of their promo cards on the tables) and Charcoal BBQ.

Malaysia - Pelicana Chicken Mini Together Chickenn Combo (800x450)

Mini Together Chicken Combo (Original YangNyeom)


Malaysia Pelicana Chicken - 4pcs YangNyeom Combo (800x450)

4cs YangNyeom Combo (Charcoal BBQ YangNyeom)


Malaysia Pelicana Chicken - Garlic Peli YangNyeom Chicken (800x450)

Garlic YangNyeom Chicken

First off, my primary expectation of Korean friend chicken is a good coating of sauce, which thankfully is present in Pelicana’s final product. For the ‘Original’ flavour, its got that sweetish tamarind taste to it. Actually when I think about it, its similar to some Chinese restaurants that serve tamarind chicken, minus the bit of alcohol they usually include. The coating for this one is quite thick.

The other two however, Garlic and Charcoal BBQ don’t have such a thick coating which is evident once you chew in but it doesn’t take anything away from the taste you’d want so it’s all good. There’s not too much to explain about the Garlic flavour, its self explanatory but for Charcoal BBQ its probably worth mentioning that it does leave a spicy taste in your mouth. I don’t know why the name includes charcoal though, a more accurate name would simply be Spicy BBQ.

All in all, the chicken is good. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with thick sauce coatings make it a slightly more unique fried chicken experience made common and accessible.

That said, I have my reservations about Pelican Chicken being a place that serves value for money, which I’ll explain with an example.

The 4pcs YangNyeom Combo is priced at RM 13.90 on the menu. That’s pretty okay right? During lunch it comes with a free soft drink. I was there during dinner so I added an iced water which brought the total up slightly to RM 14.90. Here’s my invoice (click to enlarge):

Malaysia Pelicana Chicken Invoice - 4pcs YangNyeom Combo & Iced Water

On menu the price is good, but like I mentioned earlier, you’ve got to add an extra 10% service charge, of which the total then is charged 6% GST (yes, there is GST for service charge too), which brings my total up to RM 17.35.

Looking at the photo, you can tell its a very small combo. Paying anything above RM 14 in total would be stretching the term ‘value for money’. Even four pieces  of the more expensive chicken wings you find elsewhere might not cost you more than RM 12.

My conclusion is, the food is good. Its good enough for a return visit, but probably not that often. Its pricing point and inclusion of service charge needs a serious review. Until then, Malaysia’s burger joints are still going to enjoy the lions share of alternative fast food outlets.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

wedding Trip

For as long as I’ve lived, I don’t think I’ve ever ventured into to the small town of Bintulu despite living in Sarawak for a good portion of my childhood. That changed not too long ago, just because a couple that I’d know since university finally decided to tie the knot. With both of them working there, it only made sense that it’d be there. Honestly speaking, I don’t seek to attending weddings, but this was one I didn’t want to miss since I knew them well enough to really want to be part of that occasion.

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Anyhow, a week before Hun Pin texted to ask if I’d be willing to do a little performance for the wedding dinner. Willing, but not quite prepared, a simple “I’m open to it,” reply set the wheels rolling for a three-song acoustic set with former band mates Richard and Javier. With all of us living in different places, meeting up and practicing together wasn’t something we could do. A lot of text exchanges over several days finally concluded with a firm song list barely four days before the wedding.

So armed with a bag pack and a guitar, I took on a mostly empty KLIA expresss train down to KLIA2 for the first time. I guess that’s expected when you’re set to board a flight at 6:45 in the morning.

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Bringing my guitar along did worry me a little, but that’s the very reason I had a hard case to begin with. Still, I got it wrapped at the airport just in case. Plus, I’d know upon arrival that my guitar would still be inside if the wrap was intact, hahah.

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The other thing about bring it along was that I found out from the baggage check-in counter that I would have to send it to the over-sized luggage section. I didn’t think it was particularly and in fact I was hoping to bring it on board but I suppose that was wishful thinking. The only other way to bring an oversized object on board is if you’ve bought a seat for it, which I obviously would not have done even if I knew before-hand. It wasn’t an issue for me with 20kg worth of check-in luggage allowance, the guitar in the case weighted in at only 7kg (it was 6.5kg when I weighed it at home but I guess they rounded up then number).

I didn’t know how massive KLIA2 was. Quite frankly I was surprised that an LCC terminal like KLIA2 would host eateries like Melur & Thyme (which in my personal opinion is not that great although I agree it has great branding). Then there’s the fact that depending on your flight you might take forever to walk to your boarding gate. I think mine was somewhere in the middle, which even so took a long walk.

Still, it was good to come across people like Avalon and Richard as well who I’d spend some to time to talk with about rehearsing before boarding. He was even holding his printed out lyrics when I met him, hahah.

With the flight supposedly arriving at about 9:00, barely an hour before the wedding, a little breakfast was in order.

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I have to admit, I’ve always had Pak Naseer’s Nasi Lemak every time I fly on AirAsia. The soft chicken pieces and more than palatable sambal never fails. I honestly wish they sold it outside their aircraft.

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Booked on PremiumFlex, I had the privilege of my guitar being among the first pieces of luggage to arrive at the baggage collection conveyor belt, which is a big deal for me. That, together with ticket change ability, which I did for my return flight was pretty good.

Hun Pin and Jenny had arranged for some very friendly people to meet us at the airport. A few elderly church members and a couple of their relatives were waiting. Honestly, they didn’t have to do that but that shows how generous they are. In fact I remember them telling us about airline promotions even a year before, hahah.

We arrived at the church barely 15 minutes before it started, so I guess flying in the morning was a pretty efficient idea after all. Thank God there were no delays.

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Fun fact, near Tanjung Kidurong is what is known to several locals as the bible belt. That’s because about four churches are built parallel to each other along the same road with another two plots of land reserved for churches as well. The wedding was held at this Methodist church, the first one in that row.

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It was good to see several faces I hadn’t met in a long time, even those in KL that I probably don’t get to see regularly.

After settling in and a few handshakes here and there, we finally went underway one of the most patient bridal walks I’ve experienced, hahah. It was either that or perhaps the young ring bearer wasn’t in that much of a hurry.

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The ceremony was simple in its entirety, without excessive fanfare. It just focused in on the real event and it somehow was a very… calm atmosphere. That’s certainly how I felt and that made for a very intent listening to their vows. It was very genuine in a sense because hearing Hun Pin recite his vows, they were simple yet strong. I could imagine other people saying the same thing but it somehow wouldn’t mean the same thing I felt he was expressing.

After the ceremony was lunch and after that was when Richard, Javier and I would get down to practicing together for the very first time barely four hours before the dinner.

Although rushed, it helped all of us had done what we could on our own, so we worked more on polishing up our synchronisation with each other. A decent sound-check and setup a couple hours before was helpful and we were set for it.


In the end, I think we didn’t do as great as we could have but as far as I know, Jenny (who apparently was very adamant about us performing) was very happy with in and that’s what counts the most. Its always nice to contribute something for your friends on their special occasions and I’m glad we did. I guess that was worth the ‘trouble’ of bringing my guitar with me. I wonder when’s the next time I’ll bring her along on a plane.

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I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

farewell Friend

So, there’s this person next to me who seems kind of odd. Her profile doesn’t seem to fit the kind of person I’d expect to meet around here. She’s got a surname of a Samurai, a really pale fair complexion yet she speaks Malay as well as any native speaker.

Yet, she didn’t seem like a stranger at all the first time I met my next-door cubicle buddy. Casual and friendly, it was almost a natural introduction just with the curiosity of the unconventional name around these parts.


She stands out as someone who’s just herself, seemingly unaffected by the office culture. It may have painted an image of not being submissive to the norm but it earned her an authentic character.

That’s what I liked the most about Ain. Being authentic, she was someone approachable and that made it easy to make friends. Unreserved in being open to talk about anything, she holds to her guns but she presents herself without being overbearing and willing to listen to what you have to say. It led to many honest exchanges about work, life and religion with a mutual respect that wasn’t merely diplomatic but friendly in nature. Its not often you get to talk about such things in a relaxed atmosphere.


Being someone who’s a bit more relaxed about things may give the impression she doesn’t care much, but that’s not true. She’ll be there for her friends, even its to entertain weird requests like someone asking her last minute to be a co-rapping emcee. ;D


She’s just cool that way, not to mention her slightly goofy antics every now and then that puts a grin on our faces before she breaks out laughing at herself for a bit.


Being who she is, she’s the kind of person who knows what she wants wasn’t in an office. With thought put in to it, last Friday was her last at work. As a wife, she’s made a bold step to venture out of the career world to dedicate her time entirely to family which I think is great and I respect that.

I’m going to miss this friend, I guess especially since she says I fit in the category of what she calls ‘one of the people I’m okay with…’ hahah!


Well Ms Onizukawaki, here’s celebrating a brand new lease on life for you! You’re gonna be just fine out of here, pretty sure greater things are in store. Until next time…


Sunday, September 06, 2015

breaking Strongholds

So, not too long ago Harimau Malaya got mauled 10 – 0 by the United Arab Emirates. Suddenly, interest in recent marches or political spats have dimmed slightly with the with an official scoreline to underline a form of national embarrassment. You can view the dismal performance on YouTube:


Eleven minutes of total humiliation.

As of 11:12 PM tonight, five articles related to this issue made the top 10 most viewed articles on theStar online, notably more interesting than Alvin Tan or Mukhriz Mahatir.

Malaysia Football Loss to UAE Article Trend on TheStar

Of course, there’s plenty of rambling going around on social media, sarcastic insults, memes, calling for peoples heads and so on. The frustration of fans are mostly deserved but is not something that started from the 10 – 0 defeat. It’s a culmination of so many things over a long period of time involving so many people, not just Dollah Salleh.

Firstly, I think most Harimau Malaya fans are well aware that the standard of football we play isn’t enough to win against countries outside ASEAN as of right now. Beyond the AFF Suzuki Cup and the SEA Games, Malaysia doesn’t have a chance to fight for other honours. Before K. Rajagopal was let go, it was already clear that the target was for Malaysia to qualify for the Asian Cup by 2020.

That said, Harimau Malaya hasn’t grown since its last AFF Suzuki Cup win and has been on the decline since that ‘peak’. So, it doesn’t surprise me they drew against Bangladesh although I think that also reflects the lack of quality we have. What’s more frustrating is that in recent times war torn countries such as Iraq and Palestine also beat us by large margins. How’s that possible when we supposedly have better resources and facilities in place?
Personally, I think there are five main factors that have held true over the past few years leading Malaysian football to this point:

  • inactive and ineffective FAM management
  • lack of player mental toughness
  • poor player work ethic
  • lack of grassroots development
  • lack of quality coaches

Notice, how in those five points, I mention the word ‘lack’ three times. I think that shows that in terms of the crucial resources, we certainly don’t have enough. While not world class, Malaysia does have better physical football infrastructure than Iraq and Palestine.

Quite frankly, nobody has any idea what Football Association Malaysia (FAM) actually does other than make TV deals and ink partnerships that don’t actually result in any specific benefit to Malaysian football. While I’m not a huge fan of JDTs patron, he certainly made valid points about TV revenue distribution. Apart from that, FAM’s poor development of young players led our sports minister to establish the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) led by former Bayern Munich youth coach Lim Teong Kim. Politics and involvement of royalty seem to have ruined FAM.

Players on the other hand, throughout the Super League don’t seem to reflect much of the work ethic and mental toughness of their peers (if I can even call them that) in Europe. There’s really not much to say when I hear stories of training not being taken seriously and eating absolutely anything you want (a huge no-no for any professional athlete). I mean for goodness sake, I have a friend who had an experience eating at a warung when a Super League team came by to have their meal! Mee Goreng for Lionel Messi anyone? You also know that you’re not very mentally strong when someone who is supposedly ‘composed’, i.e. Khairul Fahmi is seen throwing tantrums on the bench (regardless if it is justifiable or not). Its something that’s apparently evident in our badminton as well. You do read a few Malaysian badminton coaches highlighting this exact weakness, which is certainly present in Malaysia’s football fraternity as well.

The other thing is that we seem to have ignored the need to educate players at a young age. The development of young players became an oversight and was only addressed starting a few years back with Harimau Muda and more recently, NFDP. Programs like NFDP could produce quality players in perhaps the next decade, but it certainly came too late for any player currently in Harimau Malaya. They are the product of whatever footballing education they could get when they were younger, which probably was not a lot. Twenty years back, we forgot to think about the next generation.

Even in nurturing the next generation or the current one, you’ve got to have people of calibre to guide them. If the coaches of now (especially Malaysian ex-players) were taught by the poor football education system of the past, how can they be expected to bring todays players to a higher level? This is why the hiring of foreign coaches really do make sense for Malaysian football regardless at the state or national level.

A really great understanding of this is shown during an interview with NFDP head, Lim Teong Kim. Its a really good interview and I think every Malaysian football fan should see it:

Lim Teong Kim gets interviewed on ‘Dengan Izin’

Watching Lim Teong Kim’s explanation, you get a good feel of how much baggage Malaysian football carries with it. These are all things that have exerted its influence for decades. Any immediate short term remedies only scrape the surface, not cutting the root of the real problems. It really is a stronghold that’s prevented us from being as good as we can be. After all, history showed us we could take on Korea Republic and make them fear us even.

The current generation of Harimau Malaya may not take us as far as the Olympics or the World Cup, but they can still redeem its reputation as a force in ASEAN and not be a knock over in Asia. There’re two things that are possible for the current generation to do to make things better, (1) improve their work ethic, to seriously work hard and be disciplined about it and (2) to build that resolve, the mental toughness needed to be focused throughout games and not giving up in hopeless situations. All that will be up to the players themselves and managers together with their coaches to make it happen.

That said, there is hope for the next generation of Harimau Malaya. A few days before the UAE game, I was watching videos of the NFDP U-13 team who were unbeaten during a recent playing tour of Germany and even won the Ibercup tournament beating the likes of Bayern Munich and Sporting Lisbon!

That said, it won’t be up to NFDP to save or revive Malaysian football. It will have to be a collective effort across the board, which seems impossible. Still I do believe that people like Lim Teong Kim, Ong Kim Swee and even people like TMJ, KJ, not to mention those forgotten like K Rajagopal are able to make the difference.

It takes people with the right mentality to overcome these strongholds, which are essentially mental in nature to begin with. It won’t all be right tomorrow, maybe not even in five years time. Its hard to undo decades worth of wrong in a year. To overcome is not impossible, but we need to start doing the right things and be patient enough to allow the next generation to grow into the best Harimau Malaya they can be.

I’ll end this one with a video of what hopefully could be an indicator of a brighter future for Malaysian football:

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

power Out

I wondered why I woke up on Saturday at 4:30 in the morning. I wasn't due to travel and I hadn't planned anything special that morning. Then I realised the air conditioning wasn't on.

A walk down to the panel box didn't help. Flipping the switches on and off didn't work making me wonder if there'd been a power cut although all the street lights were still on. The funny thing was that most of the houses on my street didn't seem to have a problem, just mine and my neighbour. I guess they woke up first because I certainly didn't call the TNB guys that arrived in less than fifteen minutes of my stuffy awakening.


Unfortunately, the crew that came couldn't fix the problem. Something in the transformer box outside had been totally burnt and would require a more 'heavy duty' crew with the right tools and replacement materials. To quote, "Kita kena panggil lori bang, ni dah habis terbakar."

It was too hot in the house to wait and we didn't know how long it would take anyway, so I have God to thank that McDonalds is open 24/7 these days. After breakfast and then some, the talked about lorry hadn't come yet so I resigned myself to waiting a little more, but again, less than fifteen minutes later the red truck arrived:


I watched them work on replacing the burnt units (I don't really know what its called, an online search didn't enlighten me any further). Seeing how burnt it was, I guess it must've been quite a power overload:


Talking to one of the TNB guys, I discovered something about my house. Apparently my neighbour shares power with mine. The transformer has a direct line running to my neighbour's box which is then distributed to mine. This means if at any time my neighbour has a blackout, I'll definitely get one but if I get one, my neighbour won't be affected. It seems to be a very clever piece of cost saving by my house developer.


Anyhow, TNB was pretty quick about their work. They didn't waste any time in replacing the spoiled parts. Before leaving they did check with us to make sure our houses had power which was nice. At least they didn't just leave after completing their 'required work'.

I was quite impressed with how efficiently TNB responded, from the first respondents to the final team that fixed the problem. Its always nice to see Malaysian service providers come through, particularly public service agencies. Well done TNB.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

year Later

So, it took a conversation about food and a short mention of a friend of a friend's blog to make me turn the browser back mine. I know I haven't been at it for quite some time, but I didn't realise it's been more than a year! I guess, it'd be good to reflect on what the last 12 months have been for me.

As far as work was concerned, a change was welcome. The friendlier and a slightly more open culture made it a better place to be and I thank God that I'm able to get along with colleagues and bosses all around. While people have come and gone since then, I thank God his favour continues to be with me in my workplace.

Apart from that, I'd returned to the familiar yet unfamiliar city of KL, with me not knowing anybody. It took many months before I settled into any sort of social groove. My problem was I was real picky choosing a group to belong to with my own perceptions of how KL people are like. Yet, I had to put  myself somewhere knowing that I'd start drifting away on my own become laissez faire about things.

Choosing a cell with people I didn't know at all was what I wanted, trying unfamiliar faces in a familiar place. At first, I wondered if I'd made the right choice after realising how different everyone in cell was from me, being in a different stage of life than all of them. I stuck to it for a while, trying to share life with them, but I realised that my future friendships was best placed with peers rather than forcing myself to fit with people inherently different from me.

Still I'm grateful for the friendships that were built there and the short partnership I had with people like Daniel, Le Sze, Fai, Christine, Nic and Mel. I'd contributed in my own way, but I guess it was best for to switch and I think that was a turning point for me.

At the same time, I was happy to be back in SIB KL, and perhaps I've seen a small bit of the reason of why I've come back. Learning things that I never really focused on or understood before has helped to realise the importance of things like destiny and territory. They seem like big philosophical words that I'd leave to the more 'intelligent' minds or 'super-spiritual' people but I'm beginning to see how these are real things to care about and that it's really up to God's people and not anyone else.

In that sense, I believe that I am where I am with a certain purpose and that as I go along, He'll reveal the bits and pieces I need to know and it's up to me to learn a deeper understanding of His will. That's the part of the journey I'm on now I suppose, still struggling with myself to dig deeper.

Monday, June 30, 2014

starting Over

next phase
new season
re start
new ground

Imagine a fantasy-like world where every place is connected by only an underground railroad. Everybody starts in a different place. Each time you choose where to go with many choices, but once you leave your station, you can never go back. Its a risk with many unknowns but there's plenty of room for new adventure and infinite possibilities. Each person can stay as long as they like in one place, but once you  leave, you can't return to where you came from. You can only get on that next train for that ride through the dark without knowing what the end will be until you see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Some of us have a good idea of where we want to go and work hard to earn our ticket to those places. High achieving students get a ticket into a good college, maybe even a plane ticket to an overseas campus. The work suits among us work hard to get tickets for personal pleasures in the form of a bigger pay check. Others are dealt with budget tickets maybe, some out of a lack of ability, others just without luck. The even less fortunate may never get a ticket to a better place at all.

Then again sometimes, we're forced to take that train we don't want to take.

Like I said, sometimes we know what we want and what we don't. Yet, God seems to have a way of landing people in places they would've never thought of or felt comfortable about. It's hardly worth anything to get angry with Him about it, after all would that change anything? Yet, you naturally feel frustrated and disappointed. Why becomes a word often used as an expression of dissatisfaction.

But I'd like to hope that this new place I'm going to will be just as a good or even better than where I wanted to go in the first place. Like a young child that typically misunderstands his father's decision or instruction that differs from his own thoughts, there may be things I don't understand and have not seen but my Father knows a lot better than I do. It's usually hard to see in such circumstances and it's never immediately apparent. I guess it takes time and patience to understand and see the better picture. Hopefully I'll have what I need to make that happen.