A Special Treat for Cantonese Cuisine Lover

When I stepped into Zing Chinese restaurant at Grand Millennium Hotel, I felt like I was brought into the past. The interior decoration reflected Shanghai in the 1930’s with a touch of traditional elements and furniture. I especially loved the cream-coloured armchairs with long and curved settees adorned with comfortable cushions.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Classy lamp giving a soft glow inside Zing Chinese Restaurant

Needless to say, the table settings were meticulous and detailed. Tea was always refilled whenever the level was below half a cup, and plates were changed after every course. Service was definitely impeccable.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Meticulous table settings

I was lucky to be there when their guest chef from renowned Hua Ting Restaurant in Orchard Hotel, Singapore, Chef Chan Kwok came to visit. During the period of 15 – 21 November, Chef Chan Kwok prepares a special menu of his signature dishes for us to dip in Zing.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Hot Chinese tea

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Spoon and chopsticks

Zing Chinese Restaurant

The pretty plates in yellow

The first dish was a platter of three items, and we’re supposed to eat starting from the vegetable dish – black fungus marinated with fruits vinegar. This was slightly sour and refreshing, and served to open up the palate for the next appetizer, which was Grilled Fresh Scallop Skewer. As the name implies, the scallops were really fresh and fragrant. But my favourite of all would be the Crispy roasted duck. The skin was amazingly thin and crispy, while the meat remained tender and moist. Don’t forget the thin layer of fat in between the skin and meat, it melted in my mouth and was oh-so-glorious!

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Crispy roasted duck accompanied with grilled fresh scallop skewer and chilled cucumber & black fungus marinated with fruits vinegar

The next dish might not appeal to some due to moral/ethical reasons – Double boiled baby superior shark’s fin in shark’s bone cartilage. The soup itself was boiled with shark’s bone cartilage, giving it a rich and full body which was extremely delightful to drink.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Double boiled baby superior shark’s fin in shark’s bone cartilage

Of course, not to forget the shark’s fin, which was aplenty in this soup. Just look at the huge piece of fin in each bowl!

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Shark’s fin

The next dish was something new to me – Kurobuta pork, also known as Berkshire pig. It is black in colour and imported from Japan. The meat was more tender and juicy compared to normal pork, while the savoury saucer used by the chef complemented it very well. I could not have enough of this!

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Pan fried fillet of Kurobuta pork

The Braised homemade emerald bean curd with seasonal greens topped with pan fried fresh scallop was unique in that the bean curd was green in colour! But it’s not from the colouring, as you can tell from the bits and pieces of vegetable blended together in it. The bean curd was soft and smooth, while the pieces of green gave it a dash of fiber which was nice to chew on.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Braised homemade emerald bean curd with seasonal greens topped with pan fried fresh scallop (RM25)

Before the dessert was served, we had the Stewed rice vermicelli and crystal vermicelli with sliced fish and bitter gourd in black bean sauce. The chef cleverly mixed rice vermicelli with crystal vermicelli (glass noodles) in this dish, giving the noodles a springy but soft texture. It was brilliant! The bitter gourd was also fried perfectly, with bitterness that was not overpowering, while the fresh fish was sizable and firm.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Stewed rice vermicelli and crystal vermicelli with sliced fish and bitter gourd in black bean sauce (RM45/68/90 for Small/Medium/Large)

Last but not least, a cocktail glass of Chilled fresh fruits with aloe vera and hawthorn berries jelly as our dessert! This was slightly sourish, for I believe lemon juice was used as the base. The assortment of fruits (mostly sweet) gave a good and healthy balance to the dessert, making it an enjoyable end to the wonderful dinner.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Chilled fresh fruits with aloe vera and hawthorn berries jelly (RM15)

Some snapshots of the Zing dining environment that boasts traditional while being elegant.

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Interior of Zing Chinese restaurant #1

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Interior of Zing Chinese restaurant #2

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Private dining room at Zing

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Fresh flowers

The dishes today would not be possible if not for the guest Chef Chan Kwok who hails from Hong Kong and is now working in Singapore. Such an amusing and amiable guy he is, as can be seen from the photos below. :)

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Chef Chan Kwok having a hearty laugh

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Chef Chan Kwok, the Group Master Chef

Zing Chinese Restaurant

Zing at Grand Millennium

The special menu by Chef Chan Kwok is priced at RM188++ per person and includes some of the dishes shown above. Only available from 15 – 21 November 2010.

Zing Chinese Restaurant (Non-halal)
Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur
160 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Contact no.: +603-2117 4180/4181
Email: zing@grandmillenniumkl.com
Business Hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm

Authentic Hong Kong Dim Sum at Jin Xuan

During the holiday yesterday, Saucer and I brought his mom, niece and nephew out for breakfast. It was this place that we tried first when Caroline came to visit us a few weeks ago, called Jin Xuan! Back then, it was my first visit to the dim sum place and both Saucer and I loved the quality and variety of dim sum offered. Since I didn’t have a camera to capture the pictures back then, I decided it was a good time for a revisit! :)

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Wantan noodles and roasted pork, chicken, duck, goose are also sold

We reached at around 10am and the place was filled to the brim! In fact, we had to take a number and queue up outside while waiting for a table. We must have waited for at least 20 minutes before our number was called. Just look at the crowd inside!

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Crowded restaurant

Saucer ordered this refreshing drink with ginseng, red dates and pear. It was quite nice although I’d prefer to drink Chinese tea during dim sum. :)

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Ginseng, pear and red dates drink

We ordered a few of their famous items, and I shall let the pictures do the talking. :) When it comes to dim sum, the most famous item in the list would usually be “Har Kow” or Steamed prawn dumpling. It is almost a default measure of how good a restaurant can make its dim sum. If the “Har Kow” fails to impress, it will usually to a bad impression of the restaurant. However, I’m glad to say that the “Har Kow” in Jin Xuan triumphs among all! The size of the dumpling was reasonably huge, with several succulent prawns combined in one! It was a delight to munch into the juicy prawns, not to mention its paper-thin skin that definitely requires some skill to prepare. Also, since the “Har Kow” is popular here, they always have to prepare and steam new ones, so whatever we eat is always fresh and hot!

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Steamed prawn dumpling “Har kow”

My second favourite here would be the “Siew Mai” or Steamed pork dumpling. Traditionally, this dumpling used to be made from just pork, but over the years, I’ve seen many restaurants incorporate prawns in it as well. Just like how Jin Xuan did it. I guess it gives the dumpling a different texture with a combination of prawn and pork. This came in a huge size with lots of filling – so yummy that my nephew had 3 pieces of this!

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Steamed pork dumpling “Siew Mai”

Another dim sum old-timer is the “Char Siew Pao” or BBQ Pork Dumpling. Saucer usually is not a big fan of Char Siew Pao because he always complained that most restaurants make their dumplings with lots of fatty meat. But after our first visit to Jin Xuan, he’s a convert! He even initiated to order this “pao” himself (usually I’m the one who likes Char Siew Pao).

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

BBQ pork dumpling “Char Siew Pao”

So I guess Jin Xuan’s pao really is something different from the rest. I liked their savoury gravy and the fact that they used real pork meat. Also, their dumpling was soft and fluffy, leaving no residue on your teeth (isn’t that a nuisance!).

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Generous filling in “Char Siew Pao”

The Century Egg Porridge “Pei Tan Sau Yuk Chuk” is another commendable dish. If you look at the picture below, you could see that the porridge was really smooth and thick, with plenty of fillings. They were certainly generous with the century egg, minced pork and salted egg, making the combination a really satisfying one.

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Century Egg Porridge

Some other dim sum dishes that we had that morning included the fish ball, pork ribs and chicken feet.

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Fish balls

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Pork ribs

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Chicken feet

Apart from the savoury dim sum, we also tried a few of their sweet dim sum, meant for desserts. The Egg Tart is almost always never a miss since I love it! It has a layer of flaky and soft pastry on the sides and a thick, runny slab of egg in the middle. Best eaten while it’s hot!

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Egg tart

Jin Xuan, however, gave me another reason to return again because of their unique Golden Custard Dumpling “Lau Sar Pao”! The dumplings were served piping hot, and when you split them into two, you would see a glorious, golden stream of custard flowing out. Extremely sinful yet absolutely decadent!

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Golden Custard Bun “Lau Sar Pao”

The filling was slightly sweet with a tinge of saltiness coming from a the salted egg yolk mixed inside. Even though the size wasn’t huge, it’s very rich and it’s definitely meant to be shared! My mother-in-law must have thought they were good too, for she bought a few back home herself. :)

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

“Golden” filling oozing out from the bun

Overall, the bill for 5 of us (2 of them kids) came up to about RM100. Yes, it’s definitely not cheap but for the quality and the environment (at least you won’t see customers standing next to your table waiting for you to finish), I’d say it’s a place that I would return. :)

Hong Kong Jin Xuan Dim Sum

Restoran Jin Xuan Hong Kong Dim Sum (located behind HSBC bank in Puchong)

Did I mention that I’m really glad that it has a branch in Puchong? :)

Restoran Jin Xuan Hong Kong (Puchong Jaya) – behind HSBC Bank in Puchong Jaya
No. 7 & 8, Jalan Kenari 8,
Bandar Puchong Jaya,
47100 Puchong,
Selangor, Malaysia.
Contact no.: +603-8075 0866
Fax: +603-7982 5117
Business Hours: 7am – 11pm

Christmas Mood at Empire Shopping Gallery

It’s the Hari Raya Haji Holiday today in Malaysia, how are you people celebrating it? I just came back from a morning of dim sum with family and shopping with beloved hubby! :) Just a short post today, for I wanted to share with you the pictures I took from the Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang. It was my first time there (finally) and they already have decorations for Christmas!

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas Tree at Empire Shopping Gallery

As usual, every year, the major shopping malls in KL would decorate their concourse area according to the festivals. I love the decoration during Christmas the most, for the environment is most usually white or silver and sparkly. My favourite! :)

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decoration at Empire Shopping Gallery

This year, Empire Shopping Gallery’s theme for Christmas is “A Raily Magical Christmas”. I suppose “Raily” in this case refers to the railway and hence, you could see a little train in the picture below. :) Also, the used a lot of cotton to make the place look ‘snowy’ just like winter time.

Empire Shopping Gallery

A Raily Magical Christmas

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #1

Empire Shopping Gallery

Cute train on the railway

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #2

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #3

Empire Shopping Gallery

Christmas decor #4

How do you like the Christmas decoration from Empire?

Since I was already there, I went to check out their famous indoor Lex Slide which ran vertically across 5 storeys. I didn’t take the slide but witnessed a few persons trying it. It didn’t look that scary nor fast, but it cost RM12 – which I’d rather use for shopping instead. :P

Empire Shopping Gallery

Lex Indoor Slide

Empire Shopping Gallery

Would you try it?

Empire Shopping Gallery

5-storey indoor slide

That was how I spent the first half of today. :) Now, on to spend some quality time (I mean napping :P) before cooking dinner for tonight. :)

Final Night at Melbourne, Australia

Before we knew it, it was our second last day, which was also the last night in Melbourne, Australia! We woke up to a cold morning and had a hearty breakfast. :)

Melbourne Australia

Eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans and tomato – Saucer’s favourite :)

Melbourne Australia

English muffin with ham, bacon and egg – does it look like a smiley with a tongue? :P

Melbourne Australia

Seafood linguine

We went to the Brighton beach previously but I forgot to post the pictures so here they are. It was a cold, cloudy and rainy morning so the pictures looked really gloomy even though it was the morning. The Brighton beach had really soft and fine sand, and the stretch of beach went for a really long way. Since it was drizzling, we just stopped by to take a few pictures before leaving.

Melbourne Australia

Brighton Beach, Melbourne

There’s a famous row of colourful shacks along the beach, which is a popular photography spot.

Melbourne Australia

Colourful shacks along Brighton beach

Melbourne Australia

witch at Brighton beach

Melbourne Australia

Saucer at Brighton beach

During our stay in Melbourne, we were deeply indebted towards Kendal and Tracey, the kind family who let us stay at their place for 2 weekends. :) They were extremely hospitable and I grew very fond of their 3 children – Luke, Ben and Will. :)

Melbourne Australia

witch and Will <3

Apart from the kids, we were also acquainted with their family pets! This is Ally, Kendal’s beloved cockateil, which apparently only likes males. :P Whenever Kendal or Saucer placed their fingers by the side of the cage, Ally would come jumping towards their fingers to be stroked. *LOL*

Melbourne Australia

Ally the family’s cockateil

Melbourne Australia

Ally getting some affection :)

For our final dinner, Tracey and Kendal prepared an Italian feast for us – we had Lasagna! :)

Melbourne Australia

Table settings

Melbourne Australia

Garlic toast

Melbourne Australia

Our dinner – fabulous lasagna

A group picture with our host family! Too bad Saucer wasn’t in it since he was the one holding the camera. :)

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with Kendal, Tracey, Luke, Ben and Will

The next morning, which was our final day, we had to return our rental car to Hertz. A final picture of the comfortable car driven by Saucer before returning it. :)

Melbourne Australia

Our rented car

Along the way, I spotted something interesting! It was a 7-11 store, not selling groceries but selling petrol! It was my first time seeing a 7-11 petrol station so I couldn’t help but snap a picture of it. :)

Melbourne Australia

7-11 Petrol Station

Later in the morning, we went to witness Luke and Ben play in their respective basketball matches. They had these matches every weekend and it was pretty fun to watch! In fact, it triggered the basketball bone in us that we went ahead with a little game of our own! *LOL*

Melbourne Australia

Playing basketball with the family

Here are some shots of the gorgeous house that we stayed in for 2 weekends.

Melbourne Australia

Kendal’s house

Melbourne Australia

Lovely white flowers in the garden

Melbourne Australia

Love the mailbox!

Melbourne Australia

Kendal and Saucer

Melbourne Australia

The majestic but homely house :)

Before long, it was time for us to leave for the airport. :( It was a sad and heavy feeling but one that we had to go through anyhow. We took some group pictures before we left!

Melbourne Australia

Us with the kids and one of the kid’s friend :)

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with the family and their kids #1

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with the family and their kids #2

Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable and longest holiday trip that we’ve had so far. The adventures and misadventures, the laughter, joy and most importantly, the friendship we gained, it was priceless. We made bonds here that could last a lifetime. We’d definitely be returning to Melbourne for a future visit! :) Kendal has promised to make his famous chocolate pudding whenever we visit him! ;)

Melbourne Australia

On my flight back

Melbourne Australia

Goodbye Melbourne!

Photography Project: Brother-in-law’s ROM

Last month, a very special event happened in our family – Saucer’s elder brother Soon got married! :) With his long-time girlfriend Ling. The event was held all the way up north in Kulim, since both of them are working in the northern region. Saucer and I were there, together with the rest of my in-laws. The registration was scheduled to be at 10am, so we reached there 15 minutes earlier.

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Buddhist Association of Kulim

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Family members getting excited

Notice my title of Photography Project? :P Well it’s not a project really, just my attempt to shoot people instead of food. ;) They already had an official photographer hired for this event, so you could see that in most of the shots, they were not looking at me. I didn’t interrupt them for fear of getting scolded by the official photographer. *LOL*

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Cute flower girl – my niece-in-law

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Prayer hall at the Buddhist Association

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The Buddha statue

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The groom getting nervous?

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Couple shot before the ceremony

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Close up of the couple

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The bride

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With the bouquet

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How sweet :)

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Their wedding bands

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Gold wedding band

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Wedding bands carrier

Soon, it was time! The registrar was ready, and all of us went into the room to witness them signing their lives away. *LOL* It was quite a relaxed smooth process, since there was only one other couple waiting in line. They could take all the time they wanted for photography and posing. :)

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Signing the papers – it’s official!

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My mother-in-law as the witness

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Ling’s father as another witness

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Happy family!

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Look at the happy groom! :)

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Aww…

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Looking serious now as the registrar gave them a word of advice

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The wedding band  bearer getting ready :)

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Take a picture with me or no rings for you! :P

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Ring exchange ceremony

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And a kiss from me to you <3

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What was she surprised at?

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A red packet to the Registrar as a gesture of thanks

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The newly weds with mother-in-law

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The newly-weds with Ling’s father

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Our official videographer ;)

The next couple was already getting ready after the signing process, so we took the chance to take a group picture of them together.

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The two lovely couples

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Prayers

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Wishing for a forever after? :)

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Joss sticks

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Burning incense sticks

More pictures with the family ensue. :)

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Receiving a gift from the mother-in-law

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Another gift from the sister-in-law

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Red packets from second sis and brother-in-law

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Time for them to give red packets for the first time! :) – Too bad I wasn’t eligible to receive :P

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Angpow to Ling’s little sister

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Ang pow to some kid :P

Then, the official photographer asked the couple to do lots of poses for photography. As usual, I was just standing by the side, trying to capture them without interrupting the photographer in charge. :)

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Couple shot #1

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Couple shot #2

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Couple shot #3

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Couple shot #4

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Couple shot #5 – showing off their rings :)

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Couple shot #6

And last but not least, a group picture with the family members.

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Couple with the bride’s family

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Couple with the groom’s family

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All together now – say cheese!

The whole event lasted about an hour and a half, with photography taking most of the time. :) So what do you think of my attempt at shooting people? Constructive comments appreciated! ;)

The Celcom Xplay Shout! Party!!

Remember my previous post about the Celcom XPLAY Shout event? Well, it happened yesterday night and may I say the crowd was awesome!The party was held at Library at e@Curve, one of the hippest and coolest club in town.

Celcom Xplay Shout

Library at e@Curve

Look at the crowd outside waiting to get in!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Outside the Library

Celcom Xplay Shout

Waiting to get in

And you wonder what’s the deal there eh? Free flow all night long baby!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Free flow all night long!

Celcom Xplay Shout

The line-up for the night

Saucer and I reached in the midst of Disagree performing and the atmosphere was just hot and wild! It was my first time seeing and listening to Disagree live, and I have to say that I was impressed! :)

Celcom Xplay Shout

The performing stage

Celcom Xplay Shout

Disagree performing

Celcom Xplay Shout

Such concentration :)

We had a table outdoors where the atmosphere was slightly cooler with flowing air. But just look at the crowd! The place was packed even at just 9+pm!

Celcom Xplay Shout

The crowd in the club

Celcom Xplay Shout

witch at Library :)

Some shots with friends and strangers we met that night. :P

Celcom Xplay Shout

Saucer and Mark

Celcom Xplay Shout

witch and Saucer

Celcom Xplay Shout

Free Flow of beer!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Saucer and Bok

Right after Disagree, it was the Battle of the Bands! My the boys really rocked their socks off!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Battle of the Bands

Celcom Xplay Shout

Band Arabella

Of course, there were more bands after, including Hujan and the fabulous Mizz Nina but unfortunately, me being old-er now, couldn’t stand to be in the crowd for such a long period. :P We left earlier before we could watch Mizz Nina perform but I heard she gave an astounding performance! Way to go girl!

Next week will be the real Shout! Awards party! Have you guys got your free passes yet? Find out how here! See you there! :)