Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back to IKEA Yas Island for dinner

Where in Abu Dhabi can one have a meal in a nice environment, with minimal of fuss :-) IKEA at Yas of course! It also happens to be very child-friendly.

Our meal one night cost ... 56 AED or RM$45.

Swedish meatballs with gravy and cranberry jam ... So goooood!
And, the vegetarian selection, a simple Penne with Spinach. Good too!

Best Japanese in Abu Dhabi - Toki at Hilton

We love Toki! I reckon its the best Japanese eatery in all of Abu Dhabi, and possibly our favourite restaurant in town as well :-)

Located: Ground floor, near the car park, Hilton Abu Dhabi
Tel: +971 2 681 4151
Sister restaurant: Wasabi at TCA

Delicious minced chicken ball amuse bouche ...

Lunch menu specials ..
1) Lunch Bento Box, 112 AED (RM$90 - great value)
2) Chicken Katsu Curry set, comes with delicious Miso soup, and served with either Chawan mushi (Steamed egg) or small Cha Soba (Cold noodles), and includes either ice-cream or coffee too, 63 AED (RM$50 - a bargain!)

Illy anyone? Lovely!

Noodle Bowl - Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi

Located: Zayed Sports City, above the bowling centre
Tel: +971 2 447 2405

We have been frequenting Noodle Bowl at Zayed Sports City (Above the bowling alley) for 2 years now ... But on previous visits, we usually have the "single dish items" eg Fried rice or Noodles. We have now learnt that the "ala-carte" menu is even better!

Oooh ... XO sauce and cut chilli. Perfect with any dishes :-)

Our favourite dishes ... Sweet and sour chicken (23 AED), and Tofu with Minced Chicken and oyster sauce (27 AED). YUMMY!

The damage? 70 AED or RM$55 for the above food, including rice for two (10 AED) to share as well as a pot of jasmine tea (10 AED). Good stuff!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Transformers 3 - Dark of the Moon

Me and my pal Optimus ... taking a break from the Wuzhen / China posts :-)

Cinema: CineRoyal, Khalidiyah Mall - Abu Dhabi

Tickets: 30 AED (RM$24)

2D or 3D? We deliberately chose ... 2D. Dunno how to describe it, but we actually prefer this format of film!
Our verdict ... We loved it!

Brilliant conspiracy-theory style start, with excellent historical footage of Neil Armstrong on the moon. Excellent effects, but I would have preferred if Bumblebee made more of an appearance! Was surprised how many stars were in this installment ... John Malkovich (Bruce), Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey (Bad guy, Dylan), Tyrese Gibson (Returns as Epps), John Turturro (Simmons), Joshn Duhamel (Returns as Lennox), and of course Sam Witwicky, oops ... Shia LaBeouf. And, FHM girl of the year, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was yummy!

Movies.Sky.Com says ... Today it emerges that Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark Of The Moon has broken all records to become the biggest movie released over America's Independence Day weekend ever. The third outing of the titular robots in disguise which stars Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley has now made a staggering $416m at the worldwide box office, beating Spider-Man 2 to become the highest ever earner over America's holiday weekend.

Not everyone thought Transformers 3 was so entertaining. Here is what The National, here in Abu Dhabi said ... it slammed the film! Yes, "1 star" or ... "DIRE!".

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Wuzhen by night - Nikon D80 and MC-DC1 Remote Release

My choice of equipment for this Wuzhen night shoot ...
  • Nikon D80 (23,500 shutter count ... Time flies!)
  • Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
  • El-cheapo tripod which I brought along cos' it was light!
  • Most importantly .. A new addition to my arsenal, the Nikon MC-DC1 remote release cable.

Most of the shots I took were at: ISO: 200 ... Shutter speed: 4 to 11 seconds ... Aperture: f/11 ... Exposure compensation: Between 0 to -0.7EV ... Programme: Aperture-priority

Water town ... Wuzhen :-)

I quite like these shots ...

Here's the "reach" of my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, one shot was taken at 17mm and the other at maximum zoom (50mm) on a DX sensor. That roughly translates to 25mm and 75mm on a full-frame body.

Couldn't resist taking more photos ...

A couple more shots as I walked back to my hotel, Tong-An.

Gourmet at Water Chamber Restaurant - Wuzhen, China

There are many beautiful and quaint restaurants in Wuzhen, we chose one near our hotel (Tong-An), and chuckled at the name ... Gourmet at Water Chamber Restaurant!

Gotta start each meal with a Tsingtao ... Lovely! I did start every dinner over the week I was in Wuzhen - Changzhou - Shanghai with a Tsingtao or two :-)

This simple hong-siu tofu dish stole the show ... It was spectacular. Probably cos' the silky quality of the tofu was so memorable!

The pork dish with minced black bean was a wee bit oily ... And the vegetable dish wasn't particularly memorable. But oh ... that To-fu. Fantastic!

Wuzhen - Scenic by night

Wuzhen became even more beautiful as the sun set ... Here are photos from our walkabout :-) Excerpts from info below taken from

Wuzhen consists of 2 parts...the East side and the West side. When you arrive, you can go to either part and purchase a ticket for either side (120 rmb) or for both (150 rmb). We spent most of our time over the 24 hours we were at Wuzhen on the West side, which is heavily refurbished but yet really quaint and beautiful.

The sun was about to set ...

Possibly the two most photographed scenes in all of Wuzhen ... But I had to get a shot anyway! We were there on a Sunday night, thus it was reasonably quiet with plenty of elbow room, and no one tripping over my tripod. Seems it gets really busy on Friday and Saturday nights.

More shots of this water town ...

Beautifully refurbished buildings ...

The West-side, as described on ...

People no longer live there, and tour groups are not welcome, only individuals. The houses of the previous residents have been refurbished and are now part of the Wuzhen Clubhouse, part of the chain of small luxury hotels.

It was a really nice evening for a walk ... cool 20C weather, crisp air in the end of May.

I particularly liked the narrow alleyways ...

There was lots to photograph!

More shots of this water town ...

The most scenic and beautiful stone arch bridge ... One more time!

Lots more to explore...

We didn't spend much time on the East side, but it seems it is more like all the other water towns - Touristy, souvenir shops, many Chinese tour groups, but still very lovely, with a number of nice smaller museums (Indigo fabric making museum, traditional Chinese bed museum, and so forth), lovely canals, and boat ride of course. People do still live on this side, and you can see them washing their clothes along the water way, brushing their teeth!