February 26, 2016

Sunday Roast - Healy Macs at Publika

Sometimes I find I can go years without visiting a local place, Publika Mall being one of them and recently lightning struck twice during a weekend when I had to visit on both a Saturday and Sunday.

Publika is an upscale neighbourhood shopping mall located in Solaris Dutamas, Sri Hartamas, a sprawling up-and-coming residential development. The basic layout consists of a mall and some shop lots on each side of it but at different levels due to the hilly nature of the adjoining land.

I was due to meet some friends for lunch at a cafe and other than the name and that its in block D I had no idea where exactly the cafe was so I tried checking the website only to find that it was down. Upon arrival at the mall I found that the information screens were also down and when I approached a security/info counter their outlet list is only for units inside the main mall and not in the adjoining shop units.

The next day I had to return for something and decided to stop for late lunch. After looking for somewhere to eat, deciding to try Red Bean Bag, then being perplexed that it shuts its kitchen from 4-6, we then found an outlet of Healy Mac’s and to our delight they were serving Sunday roast.

After taking our seats and being given a menu the issues began. A common problem I find in KL is that when a restaurant isn’t particularly busy the staff become oblivious to what is happening around them and that day we seemed to just become invisible. The staff seemed to be a mix of different nationalities (usual places) who didn’t really gel together and communicate well which compounded the problems.

Eventually we managed to call somebody over and asked him where there menu for the Sunday Roast however he had no idea what a Sunday roast actually was. After getting some help he finally took the order and a while later the chef came out to see us and check what we actually wanted due to the clueless waiter getting it all wrong.

I’m certainly no connoisseur of Sunday roasts however what was served up wasn’t impressive. The 2 slices of beer were cut so think they were like gristly steaks accompanied by 2 mini potatoes, 2 mini mash scoops and some other veg.


It tasted average I have to say I wasn’t impressed and will be in no hurry to order another one from here. The service didn’t improve after the meal and the staff were happy walking around ignoring people and forgetting orders.

On the positive side live Irish music was provided a group of people who seemed to just turn up, sit at a table and jam which was pleasent and the Guinness wasn’t bad either.

February 19, 2016

More Malaysia Airlines Website Issues

With a dose of sarcasm the wonderful user friendly and robust website of Malaysia Airlines has done it again.

When trying to book a KUL-SIN return ticket and selecting some of the promo fares its not allowing me to book due the following error:


Seriously how hard can it be to hire some IT staff who know how to develop and maintain a website?

Is it any wonder that they are losing money!

February 14, 2016

Malaysia Airlines Online Check-In Woes

For some time now I've been experiencing issues with Malaysia Airlines online check-in system whereby its not possible to print your boarding pass using a Macbook (Safari) or Ipad.

What should happen is that when you press the button to print a PDF file is downloaded which you can save or print. It seems that some people find that the print button doesn’t work and nothing happens when its selected. Whilst there are options to send the boarding pass to the phone or email, neither on them send the full boarding pass but rather a cut down version with just a bar code.

I've now installed Firefox and tried it on Windows 8 via Parallels Desktop and these work ok so it's a likely a compatibility issue with Safari.

It would seem that I'm not alone as this blog article highlights the same problem and the latest from the author is that he is still having the issue.

The is just one of many annoyances and downright poor user functionality that exist on their website.

For example:
  • When logging to their FFP (Enrich) I'm not able to see my bookings
  • If I log on using my website ID I can see my bookings but I cant check in from here
  • Unbelievably I will need to write down my booking reference or ticket number and then go to another page to check in.

Why are so many clunky steps needed?

Please take a look at the Singapore Airlines site and use that for some inspiration in this area.

February 12, 2016

Wensleydale Cheese With Mince Pie

Ever since a young age I've been rather partial to some cheese, especially a strong cheddar or perhaps some Wensleydale with cranberries.

Whilst recently browsing the cheese room in an outlet of Jason’s Gourmet Grocer (and trying the free samples) I stumbled across some Wensleydale cheese with mince pie.


Owing to the extortionate pricing of cheese in Singapore I tend shy away from buying anything but the most basic items however this really caught my imagination. Whilst I'm a big fan of mince pies and enjoy my cheese I admit to being sceptical as to whether this would work.

I'm pleased to say that it was absolutely delicious and highly recommend it, even if we are well past the Christmas period.

February 10, 2016

Open Live Writer is now Live

When I started blogging some years ago I was disappointed at the limited tools available and looking at things now I see that Google’s Blogger UI hasn’t changed much over the past 4 years and the editor can best be described as basic and with limited functionality.

After some research I found that Microsoft’s free Windows Live Writer (WLW) was actually a very useful and well packaged app despite it being free MS add-on. I was able to quickly create posts, edit and align pics before posting a draft to my blog. With WLW the posts usually only required some minor line break adjustments before it was ready to publish. After moving to MAC OS WLW was one of the few apps that I used via Parallels because I've to find a better replacement tool for the Mac.

Whilst Windows Live Essentials hasn’t been updated since 2012 the apps are still available and work on Windows 8 (not sure about v10) however to my dismay Google has removed support for a legacy security protocol in December 2015 which means WLW can no longer upload posts to Blogger.

For some time Ive been reading about how a group have been petitioning Microsoft to allow the code to become open source. Personally I never thought that MS would allow this in a million years so it was with a combination of shock and delight that I recently found out that MS did release the code and a fantastic independent group of people have open sourced and forked WLW to create Open Live Writer.

So far so good with OLW and I’m looking forward to future updates and perhaps a MAC OS version.

Keep up the good work.

February 9, 2016

Clearance Corner

Western imported good are pretty expensive in Malaysia so any opportunity to pick up some on the cheap its welcomed.

Having previously worked in the retail industry I’m well aware what food labels or date codes mean and their associated risks. Almost everything these days has to have a best before date however most non perishable food is usually ok to consume for considerable amount of time afterwards.

Cold Storage is a large retail chain carrying a large selection of imported goods with many supermarkets in both Malaysia and Singapore. It always amuses me that Cold Storage stock a range of imported Waitrose budget products and sell them at a premium price. Seriously who would pay a premium for tins of economy veg or packets of frozen french fries?

In almost every outlet located somewhere is a section displaying goods approaching their best before date and in some cases there some absolute bargains to be had especially the Waitrose goods.


I think in developing an addiction to buying marked down goods because its now the first place I visit whilst my wife is picking up the usual groceries.

Why do people stop updating blogs?

Having been a reader of several good blogs its always frustrating when the updates stop, especially if there is no announcement and then after period of time the site or domain name stops working as well.

I guess I’m guilty of this and it’s got me thinking about why I paused my writing.

Freedom of speech
One of the reasons I started writing was to express by thoughts and share both the things that I’m positive about and also my frustrations and observations of life. Whilst I may write anonymously it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find out my personal details and with advent of several mega troll sites things can quickly get out of hand if somebody takes offence to a posting. A witch hunt can quickly begin, your person details can get posted online very quickly which has often resulted in lives and careers ruined. As a result I've seen a sharp decline in the number of people who share their rants and banter on their blogs and social media sites.

Voluntary Work
From 2011 for four years I was heavily involved with my condo management committee in KL. Most of my spare time was taken manning the JMC’s blog, Facebook, email comms, accounts and dealing with operational matters. This was both an immensely satisfying role as well as frustrating and disappointing. Towards the end I encountered the ugly side of Malaysia with racism and hate directed towards me simply for performing my role, refusing to bow to bigots and racists, standing my ground and not flip flopping like many in a position of authority do so that they can please people. The role become extremely consuming and the frustrating side of it meant that I had no desire, positivity or energy to write for myself.

Trying to balance the above and a weekly 350km commute each way into a demanding role at an international bank just seemed cause complete writers block and a lack of interest in personal blogging.

So now - well after a long rest and having time to reflect I’m refreshed and ready to slowly write again.