The Great Ocean Road Adventure – Cape Otway Misfortune

Continuing our journey after admiring gorgeous views at the Split Point Lighthouse, we reached the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch. Historically, the Great Ocean Road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world’s largest war memorial dedicated to casualties.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Entrance

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Memorial

Great Ocean Road

An excited witch! :)

Quoting the information board below:

The arch commemorates the construction of the road and symbolises the sacrifice made by so many in the First World War. It stands astride the largest enduring war memorial in the world, “The Great Ocean Road”, a living memorial to our forefathers.

Great Ocean Road

Saucer at the Memorial Arch

Great Ocean Road

witch with the Great Ocean Road Memorial statue

Just next to the memorial arch was the great ocean! So very blue and vast. As usual, wind was strong and cold. *Brrr* I believe the beach would be more crowded and popular during summer!

Great Ocean Road

Saucer by the beach

Great Ocean Road

Us at the memorial arch beach

This time, we were up close and personal with the great ocean. Not only could we see it, we could touch and feel the water and the soft sand on the beach. It was surreal.

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View of beach #1

Great Ocean Road

View of beach #2

Great Ocean Road

View of beach #3

OK, enough of pit stops already, we said! It was getting dark and if we didn’t keep on moving, we would end up driving in the dark! So from the Memorial Arch, we continued our journey towards Cape Otway, which was our destination for our night. We had booked a place in a Caravan park near Cape Otway and thought of staying there for the night before returning to Melbourne tomorrow. You see, our initial plan was just to drive half of the road for the experience of it. This was the road leading to Cape Otway – along a rain forest.

Great Ocean Road

Rain forest route towards Cape Otway

This stretch of road was nothing like before, because the ocean was no longer in sight now. We were driving across the rain forest instead, towards the southern point of the Great Ocean Road. Soon, we saw the signboard and heaved a sigh of relief.

Great Ocean Road

Cape Otway

Referring to the GPS, we continued our drive and horror of all horrors – we met with a dead end! Well, it’s not a ‘dead’ end technically, but it was a road that we couldn’t proceed any further, for there was a herd of cows blocking us! Gosh! What were we going to do? There were so many of them and they’re so huge that we didn’t dare to go and shoo them away. *LOL* Worst of all, they were all standing there still, looking like they had no intention to move. So we waited in the car for 5 whole minutes, wondering if they were going to move. Luckily, an oncoming car came after that, and the guy in it actually shooed the cows away. So we quickly drove past, but in my heart, I was already worried that we’d have to go through the same path again when we returned.

Great Ocean Road

Road block!

Great Ocean Road

Taken from the car

After we crossed the cows, Saucer spotted something from afar. It was a kangaroo! Oh my, there really was a kangaroo in the wild!

Great Ocean Road

Kangaroo spotted!

We drove by towards the lighthouse and it was 4.50pm. What did we find out? The lighthouse was CLOSED! I knew we were playing it close because the lighthouse was supposed to close at 5pm, but they were supposed to be open for another 10 minutes. :( Oh well! We didn’t manage to take any pictures too because it was drizzling. Ah, what could be worse! It was really an unfortunate incident.

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Cape Otway (source)

So, all that was left to do was to turn back and hunt for our shelter for the night. The place that we were planning to stay in was a Caravan park just a few kilometres away from the lighthouse, but when we reached there, it was so quiet and somewhat eerie because it’s in the middle of a forest, that we decided not to stay there. And hence, we continued driving in the dark… (to be continued)

*Update: Great Southern Touring Route application from Apple helps to plan your Great Ocean Road journey better:

GSTR on iPhone

The Great Ocean Road Adventure – Torquay & Split Point Lighthouse

Finally, I got to the part I enjoyed the most in our trip to Melbourne - The Great Ocean Road! I must admit, this post is long overdue but I was really just saving the best for last! *LOL* Remember we rented a car from Hertz to Lake Mulwala before? We used the same car to drive towards the Great Ocean Road! It was really a durable Nissan, and a very comfortable one too. Definitely value for money. :) Look at the map below for the route that we took. We initially just wanted to do it halfway, but … you’ll see what happened during the adventure. ;)

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Great Ocean Road route from Melbourne

After crossing Geelong, our first stop was Torquay – the Gateway to Great Ocean Road. The signboard of Torquay was so majestic that we couldn’t help but stop by to take pictures. The good thing was that the road was quite empty, so that’s a good break from the traffic jam in the city!

Great Ocean Road

Torquay – Gateway to Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Look at the endless road behind

After Torquay, our next stop was Anglesea, just because we were looking for toilet and food! *LOL* I really liked the Great Ocean Road drive because we got to pass along lots of quaint little towns at intervals, not to mention the magnificent view of the ocean accompanying us as well! Anglesea was one of the towns along Great Ocean Road, and we randomly chose a cafe for lunch. This was Chicken Parmigiana, which is one of Australian’s popular dishes – chicken chop with ham and melted cheese on top! Very indulgent and good!

Great Ocean Road

Chicken Parmigiana (~AUD14-15)

Opposite the row of cafe was the Anglesea River that we stopped by to snap pictures. Look at happy Saucer! :) Loved the cooling weather in the afternoon!

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Saucer at Anglesea River

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Beautiful view of Anglesea River #1

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Anglesea River #2

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Anglesea River #3

After that, it was my turn to drive! We proceeded along Great Ocean Road and saw lots of magnificent views of the sea. I kinda regretted driving along this stretch, for I was really distracted by the gorgeous views but I had to focus on the road! I should have driven the first part and let Saucer drive this second leg of the journey. :P

Next stop, we spotted a lighthouse from far and wanted to stop by. It was the Split Point Lighthouse, along Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road

Split Point Lighthouse

I am impressed with the signage in Victorian roads. It’s very clear, direct and never confusing. For foreigners like us who were driving there for the first time, we never really had much problems with directions. Throughout our drive here, I noticed that they used Brown colour signage to signify tourist attraction spots, just like the one shown above. Therefore, anytime I saw a brown sign, I would stop by to take a look! :)

Great Ocean Road

Walking towards the lighthouse

I have to admit, we had to get used to going to tourist spots here by ourselves. Even though it’s an attraction, there were not many people around. In fact, when we stopped by the lighthouse, we were the only 2 persons around, walking alone towards the lighthouse. I was a little nervous, but soon enough, I was more than comfortable. I mean, how often do you get to have the whole tourist spot to yourself? It was awesome! We could take pictures however we wanted to, without anyone blocking us. *LOL*

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Split Point Lighthouse

This was the path that we had to go through to connect to the lighthouse.

Great Ocean Road

Walking towards the lighthouse

It was a very windy day, so I had to always keep my hair in place while taking pictures or I’d look like a crazy witch!

Great Ocean Road

witch at Split Point Lighthouse

Once we got near the lighthouse, we were treated to a breathtaking and scenic view of the ocean. It was really mind-blowing – to see a vast canvas of blue before us, and to know that we’re merely a small speck compared to it. It really made me see how small I was and how big the world really is.

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View from lighthouse #1

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #2

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witch at the viewing deck at lighthouse

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Saucer and witch <3

Standing there at the viewing deck was really therapeutic in a way. The cold air blowing against my face, the sounds of waves lapping up the beach and the amazing sapphire blue sea – I almost didn’t want to leave!

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View from lighthouse #3

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #4

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View from lighthouse #5

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #6

From the Lighthouse, we spotted this information board telling us about the Lighthouse Discovery Trail! So we followed the trail down…

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Lighthouse Discovery Trail

And down…

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Towards the Lighthouse Discovery Trail

.. To see another gorgeous view! An apostle lookalike? :)

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An apostle lookalike?

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witch at Lighthouse lookout point

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Saucer and witch at Lighthouse lookout point

We stood there for another 10 minutes or so, admiring the gorgeous blue ocean, but I knew we had to leave or we wouldn’t make it before dark. Our intention was to stay at Cape Otway, which was the lowest point down south along the Great Ocean Road (refer map) and we were merely halfway there! We had to buck up!

*Update: Great Southern Touring Route application from Apple helps to plan your Great Ocean Road journey better:

GSTR on iPhone

Smooth and Tender Village Chicken at Kong Sai

Have you had lunch? Working in an office job, it’s always a question on what to have for lunch. Going to the same old coffee shops or restaurants sometimes can just be too bored for good. Luckily, this time we had a new place to try out! It was this restaurant that serves delicious Village Chicken known as Restoran Kong Sai in Bandar Puteri Puchong. Highly recommended by a colleague, we had to reach there earlier to avoid the crowd. Guess what we saw inside? An interesting signboard that said “Be Silent”.

*Pictures taken with iPhone 3GS

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Be Silent, or else..

I thought it was really amusing to see it in a restaurant. Almost reminded me of a library. But of course, I assure you, the restaurant was nothing but silent. It was bustling with business and people who were too busy to notice the signboard anyway. We placed our orders and took some recommendations from the waitress.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Calamansi juice / Kam kat (RM1.50)

We asked for a plate of Village chicken for 4 persons and this was the portion we had. It’s not exactly big I suppose, because we ordered a number of other dishes as well. The chicken had bright yellow skin which was smooth and shiny. I loved the chicken meat which was smooth and tender despite it being village chicken.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Village Chicken portion for 4

And don’t forget the sauces that came with the chicken! A mixture of ginger, cili padi and soy sauce – very appetizing and flavourful.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Chicken with sauces

There was an option for either white rice or oily rice, so I opted for the unhealthy one. Seriously, chicken rice is NOT chicken rice if it’s not eaten with oily rice. :)

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Oily rice / ‘Yau fan’

Some other dishes we had include the Sausage Omelette (Lap Cheong dan) that was recommended by the waitress. I love ‘lap cheong’ and I think it goes well with just about anything! The egg turned out to be fragrant and the portion of sausage was pretty decent.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Sausage omelette (Lap cheong dan)

Another recommendation by the waitress was Chicken Feet Salad. I once had similar dish in China a few years back, but I never thought it’s sold here. Being a cold dish, the chicken feet was deboned and marinated with lime, chilli, onion and vinegar, giving it a sour and spicy taste. I personally enjoyed it for it was pretty appetizing and the chicken feet skin was springy and crunchy.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Chicken feet salad

The Braised Yam with Pork (kau yuk) came with thick and flavourful gravy which was enveloped by the aroma of yam. I loved that the yam was braised long enough to be soft with melt-in-your-mouth texture, while the pork had half a layer of fat that was sinful but good. This was a very filling dish and went very well with rice.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Braised yam with pork

Last but not least, some vegetables to balance our meal. We had the Beansprouts with salted fish. Not something to shout about, with barely-there salted fish.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Beansprouts with saled fish

Restoran Kong Sai is situated in a row of shops with not many restaurants nearby, hence it’s not such a busy area. Parking was also not an issue to us. Since it’s also opened at night, I’ll definitely be back again and bring Saucer with me! :) Our lunch for 4 persons cost RM50 including drinks.

Kong Sai Chicken Rice

Restoran Kong Sai

Restoran Kong Sai
44-G, Jalan Puteri 5/2.
Bandar Puteri,
47100 Puchong,
Selangor,
Malaysia.
Contact no.: +6019-2088 249 or +6019-3290 382 (Mr. Lee)
Business Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10pm (Closed on Monday)

Seoul Good Promotion at One World Hotel

Last week, Saucer and I went to savour the One World Hotel Seoul Good Promotion at the award-winning Cinnamon Coffee House. One World Hotel had specially flown in two guest chefs all the way from Seoul Palace Hotel, Korea, to showcase the authentic Korean cuisine.

Chef Jang Yong-jun and Jeon Dai-hwi prepared a majestic spread of Korean dishes such as Fresh Ginseng salad, Kimchi jeon gol, Grilled Deodeok, Bulgogi, Tteokgalbi, Beef Taik Gom Tang and Yuk Gae Jang during the dinner buffet. Before dinner started, I spotted a lovely lady dressed in Korean hanbok, and went over to take a picture!

One World Seoul Promotion

witch and sweet lady with Hanbok

The spread of food was massive! And so was the crowd! It was a challenge just to get from one end of the buffet spread to the other, really.

One World Seoul Promotion

Roasted rack of lamb

One World Seoul Promotion

Sausages and fried wan tan

One World Seoul Promotion

Fresh seafood

One World Seoul Promotion

Tempura station

One World Seoul Promotion

Pumpkin porridge

One World Seoul Promotion

Oysters

One World Seoul Promotion

Saucer’s first plate

One World Seoul Promotion

Saucer’s 2nd plate :P

We then had desserts, which were aplenty! The cakes at Cinnamon Coffee house were really out of this world.

One World Seoul Promotion

Ice-cream

One World Seoul Promotion

Korean desserts

One World Seoul Promotion

One World Seoul Promotion

One World Seoul Promotion

Korean rice cake desserts

One World Seoul Promotion

One World Seoul Promotion

One World Seoul Promotion

Chocolate cake

One World Seoul Promotion

Coffee flavoured cake

I have to admit that I had more of the desserts than anything else in this Korean buffet. Ahh, my sweet tooth!

One World Seoul Promotion

Crowd at Cinnamon Coffee House, One World Hotel

Cinnamon Coffee House
One World Hotel,
First Avenue,
Bandar Utama City Centre,
47800 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor,
Malaysia.
Contact no.: +603-7681 1157

Exquisite Shanghainese Hairy Crabs at J.W. Marriott

When I first heard of ‘Hairy Crab‘, I imagined it to be a shelled creature with lots of hair all over the body. Yes, I have to admit this was my first time seeing, touching, feeling and eating a Hairy Crab. In fact, it looked just like any other type of crab, except that it’s much smaller, and with hairy legs. I had the privilege to taste the seasonal hairy crabs at Shanghai Restaurant in J.W. Marriott hotel.

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Interior of Shanghai Restaurant, J.W. Marriott

Apparently, hairy crabs are only available during the autumn season in China, where the sky is blue and the air is crisp. It’s also the weather when the hairy crabs are most succulent and delicious. This delicate crustacean is only available from the ninth to eleventh months in the Chinese lunar calendar. Shanghai Restaurant, being the only hotel Chinese restaurant in KL that specializes in exquisite Shanghai cuisine, is proud to create several palatable dishes made from hairy crab. We were lucky to be there on the day they restocked the hairy crabs! Look at their fridge!

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Hairy Crab new stock in the fridge!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Raw Shanghainese hairy crab

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Closer look at the hairs

After taking a look at the crabs, we were fascinated and couldn’t wait to taste it!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Tidbits

We started with the Steamed Shanghainese Hairy Crabs, which looked pretty small compared to the average crab size. But just look at the amount of roe inside!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Steamed Shanghainese Hairy Crab (market price)

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Exquisite hairy crab from Shanghai

With the small size of a crab, it is expected to have less meat compared to the usual, but its prized possession is really the roe. Rich and semi-liquid, it tasted a little like salted egg yolk but with crab goodness. Really, it’s something that you have to taste to feel it.

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Luxurious Crab roe

The waiters served the crabs very delicately and professionally. After serving us the carapace, they used the scissors to cut off the legs and pincers and served them on another plate. So very meticulous, don’t you think? The meat was just bite-size but sweet and tender.

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Crab legs and pincers on a plate

Hairy crab is supposed to have a ‘cooling’ effect to our body, whereby excessive amount of it would lead to fainting or dizziness. Therefore, a glass of warm ginger tea was served to counter the ‘cooling’ effect of the crabs. And this tea was refilled unlimited times, too! Saucer and I both loved the tea!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Ginger tea

After savouring the steamed hairy crabs, we were served some dishes creatively carved from Hairy Crabs. But before that, some vegetarian appetizers!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Cold jelly fish

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Deep fried vegetarian dish

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Deep fried vegetarian eel

The first Hairy Crab inspired dish was the Steamed Shanghainese dumplings with hairy crab meat and roe, which was one of my favourite. The dumpling skin was ever so thin and delicate, that it looked too fragile  for me to even hold it with chopsticks. But the waiter served us a dumpling each, so skilfully, without a single tear. And I popped the whole dumpling, soup and crab meat, into my mouth – to be brought to heaven and back. Really, there’s no other way to describe the feeling and you simply have to put the whole dumpling into the mouth to experience this delight. The broth was really sweet with the essence of crab, while the crab meat and roe added so much richness to the whole combination. Very well done.

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Steamed Shanghainese dumplings with hairy crab meat and roe (RM11/pc)

The next one was Fried bamboo fish fillets with hairy crab meat and roe, where I found the fish fillet to be very smooth and flaky. Coupling the fresh fish with the hairy crab meat and roe was very complementary. The fish with its firm texture but bland taste, plus the crab roe’s soft texture but rich flavour. Yummy!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Fried bamboo fish fillets with hairy crab meat and roe (RM25/pc)

Next, we had something out of the hairy crab menu, which was Stir Fried Beef fillet with Scallion. Even though simple, this dish impressed our taste buds – the beef fillet was extremely tender and juicy. Master Chef Wong said that the controlling of the heat of wok during the cooking of this dish was imperative to ensure the beef to reach its perfect texture and taste.

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Stir fried beef fillet with Scallion

The Stir-fried Shanghainese glutinous rice cakes with hairy crab meat and roe reminded me of the rice cakes I had in Korea. It had the exact same texture and taste, but this was shaped flat and cooked with different sauce. It’s also called ‘nian gao’ in Mandarin. On its own, it has a chewy texture with no taste, but cooking it with hairy crab meat and roe brought the rice cakes to a different dimension altogether. The taste was elevated a few notches, whereby the richness of the crab roe surrounded the rice cakes so well that you couldn’t help but to take one piece after another. Addictive!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Stir-fried Shanghainese glutinous rice cakes with hairy crab meat and roe (RM88)

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Stir-fried vegetables with garlic

The glorious spread of Hairy Crab inspired dishes were all thanks to Master Chef Wong Wing Yeuk who originated from Shanghai and spent a good number of years in Hong Kong. Hence, he was able to converse in Cantonese pretty fluently! The Chef brought in lots of authentic Shanghainese dishes to Malaysia, at the same time tweaking the dishes to capture the local’s taste buds.

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Master Chef Wong Wing Yeuk originated from Shanghai

After dinner, we had desserts! Of all the desserts we had, I particularly loved the Deep Fried Bun with Custard and Egg Yolk filling or ‘lau sar pau’ in Cantonese. It was my first time having this delicacy and my gosh, where was it hiding all this while?

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Mango dessert with sago and pomelo (Yeung Ji Kam Lou )

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Deep fried sesame balls

The bun was deep fried to perfection, with a crispy layer of skin outside and warm and soft interior. Splitting the bun in two, I could see the glorious yellow custard and egg yolk filling oozing out from within, piping hot and oh-so-fragrant. It was definitely an experience to remember and a taste that I certainly will not forget! A highly recommended piece of art from Shanghai restaurant, you simply have to try this out!

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Deep fried bun with custard and egg yolk filling

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Glorious custard and egg yolk oozing out

For the health conscious, there’s also the steamed version available, with the same glorious filling. :)

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Steamed bun with egg yolk and custard filling

Dinner was made more enjoyable with pleasant company such as sweet Esther. :)

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Esther and witch

Shanghai Hairy Crab

Shanghai Restaurant at J.W. Marriott

The Shanghai Hairy Crab promotion is currently available until 30th November 2010.

Shanghai Restaurant
Level 1, J.W. Marriott Kuala Lumpur
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Contact no.: +603-2719 8288
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (12-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm), Sunday & Public Holiday (10.30am-2.30pm)

Get Free Tickets to Celcom XPLAY Shout Awards

Have you got the passion for music? And a thirst for awesome parties? If you answer Yes to both the questions, I have good news for you! Celcom XPLAY is now here to satisfy your craving needs.

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XPLAY is a series of music events nationwide that brings various genres of music together. What’s more we bring only the best local and international DJs for an electrifying show. Experience a party like never before with beyond-imagination line-ups and ground-shaking music to give you one of the most memorable nights you will ever have. The big bang theory will have nothing on this when XPLAY comes through!

I have been watching TV quite a bit lately and saw a few ads on Shout! Awards. It was this ad telling us the various nominees of  Shout! Awards, asking us to vote. The Shout! Awards is really an entertainment award show created to celebrate the Malaysia entertainment industry. The award recognizes people of music, television, film and radio industry as well as the entertainment industry as a whole.

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Shout! Awards

Combining XPLAY and Shout! Awards, you get Xplay Shout!, which is the pre-show party for Shout! Awards happening at The Library e@curve on 13 November 2010 to celebrate the nominees. There will be performances by the 2009 Shout! Awards winners and also DJs. People will also get to mingle with the Mobile Content Award 2010 Nominees at the party!

Guess who will be there at the Xplay Shout! party?

Disagree

Disagree embodies the energy of Alternative Rock, delivering unique sounds that are distinctive, straightforward and yet seemingly radio friendly. Their hit numbers such as ‘Crumbs’, ‘Scarecrow Adam’, and ‘Suicide Note’, have substantiated high recognition in the Malaysian English music scene. By delivering music which that is more mature and intensely melodic, Disagree continues to be the rage in the alternative scene.

Hujan

Mizz Nina

Mizz Nina, the reigning queen of Malaysian hip hop scene shot to fame as part of the seminal Malaysian hip hop group, the Teh Tarik Crew, earning two AIM nominations for the group’s full-length album “How’s The Level?” in the process. Her growing repertoire of music has exposed the public to an unprecedented level. Lending her unique take on hip hop artistry, Mizz Nina continues to deliver a resounding display every time she’s on the mic or on the decks and is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the local entertainment industry.

DJ Ash

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Originally hailing from Malaysia, Ash started DJ-ing in2004 in Australia. Since then, he has played most of Melbourne’s finest nightclubs and bars. He revolutionized and continues to lead the Mash-Up scene in Melbourne with his residency at the famed Seven Nightclub’s Sideroom, Melbourne’s Mash-Up scene by unleashing his creativity through mixing assorted music genres in his set. Ash has also played in special events such for Akon, T-Pain, MC Jin, MizzNina, Too Phat’s Joe Flizzow Montell Jordan, Justin Timberlake’s dancers and Australian Idol showcase.

How to get FREE passes to XPLAY Shout! Party:

To get an exclusive FREE invitation, you just need to register at the Xpax Facebook at www.facebook.com/xpaxfb
1. Join as a fan and click on the “XPLAY” tab
2. Register for a FREE invitation.
3. 1st 150 customers to register on Xpax Facebook will get Free Drinks as well! (If you are an Xpax or U.O.X. member, you’ll get 2 drinks!)

How to get free passes to Shout! Awards?
Just download 3 Call Me Tones of the Mobile Content Award 2010 nominees from www.channelx.com.my and stand a chance to win free passes to attend Shout! Awards on 20 November 2010!

I am going to register for the Xplay Shout! party, hoping to be the first 150 customers. You should do it too! After all, how often do you get free parties with awesome performances right? :)