Thursday, February 22, 2018

Black Panther - Best Movie For A Long Time

Movie Review BLACK PANTHER: Save you to read till the end, its a 10/10 movie for entertainment, and a whole lot of bonus points for many more meaningful things. BP is a standalone superhero by Marvel. The director and writer were excellent here. It makes sense, was believable and logical even though we were in the realm of superheroes. 

As a superhero movie, the storyline was brilliant, moving and not a single boring moment to speak of. Characters were given time to flesh out hence you empathised with most of them. The effects were devastating and not entirely over the top. The high tech environment was brilliantly crafted and fun to watch. 

This movie is a watershed movie, more important than the entertainment value it professes to offer. A largely black cast, and it will be a very successful film at the box office worldwide I am sure - its the movie that showed that a superhero need not be white, and that minorities can be more than just an add-on or two in a big movie. The ramifications will be that minorities can carry a picture, that kids everywhere will have a more varied platform to choose from as their role models, nobody should be constrained by race or colour. In many aspects, its empowering for many people, and will cause a lot of rethinking (in a positive way) for the social media and entertainment industry.

The movie also tackles the oppression of certain groups, when tolerated by the bystanders, is that right? A more resonating excerpt from the movie, for most Malaysians in particular, was the two line dialogue:
"If you are loyal to your country, then serve your country", followed by the vociferous reply "I love my country, I will save my country".

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chinese Food - OMAKASE ... Divine!!!

You put forward the word degustation, and immediately its fine dining and you are preparing to pay at least RM300-500pp, same for Omakase which is chef's choice in Japanese restaurants. This restaurant is the best discovery for the longest time, and you have to call to book first, and say you want Omakase as the chef would have to shop diligently for freshest ingredients.

paku pakis, blanched cold till crispy with sour chilli sauce, topped with prawn oil butter  8/10

easily my favourite dish, the soup was amazing, 8 hours with 3 different birds/bones as stock, and complements the melt in your mouth cabbage  10/10 

slow blanched pork belly, with cucumber and ginger (which gave it a lift)  9/10 

crispy chicken skin, the meat was actually fish ... Sek Yuen does this a bit better, but good nonetheless   7.5/10

I would call this a salad, well done eggplant plus squid and okra  8/10 

The place is known as Xiao Lao Wang hotpot restaurant, hence 90% of patrons go for hotpot not knowing Omakase was available but you can't order it as a walk in patron owing to preparation time needed. Its located at The School, Jaya One, ground floor. 

Another must have, soup cooked entirely with coconut water and chestnut, brilliant soup... the chicken is a special breed but I kinda forgot which breed ... you dip the chicken into boiling broth. Immensely enjoyable, the soup was at another level   10/10 

Their accompanying dipping sauces alternates according to different dishes, good attention to detail and some of the sauces were different, nuanced and refreshing.

A hit among lovers of rice with the stewed pork leg's sauce... not salty and just right.  8.5/10 

A delicate surprise, cheong fun with a chicken feet wrapped inside.  7/10 

Some friends have been there before and were gushing, hence I was invited to join them yesterday. Omakase refers to what the chef thought would be best served on that day depending on available freshest ingredients. However we did request for some of his signature top notch dishes - and you should too to avoid disappointment.

The steamed pumpkin with ginko and yam, old fashioned dish but warm nostalgic feel, pretty good.  8.5/10

My friends had this at a previous Omakase and swears on it. Sweet and sour soup, but exquisitely finished at the table with duck egg poured over.

The good news is the Omakase cost around RM200-250pp, great value for many kungfu dishes.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Market Correction or Bear

There is a huge difference between a market correction and a bear market. A proper correction reaches about 10% off the highs, while a bear market needs a 20% correction from the highs or more.

The correction was much needed, digesting the rate hike in the US and possibly another within the next 6 months. The rise and rise of ETFs as a sector of overall equities market seem to have exacerbated the correction as redemptions tend to have a "me-too" follow on effect. 

For me, I think its a much needed correction, not a bear market situation. There is still the massive injection of funds with the new repatriation laws affecting US companies bring back profits back from overseas. A lot will go into shares buybacks and some reinvestment in US. The flow on effects have not been fully discounted yet.

Plus, what are the alternatives for funds now? In spite of the rate hikes, interest rates are still benign. There are not many places to go.

I expect a swift rebound within the next two days.

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