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Member since: 29.08.2008

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    • More +
      31.07.2009 19:40
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      If you haven't shopped in Hong Kong, then you're REALLY missing out!

      Hong Kong is truly a shopping paradise. When someone say that to you, don't roll your eyes and think it's just an exaggeration. It fits Hong Kong perfectly with its shops lined with branded products from Louis Vuitton to LesSportSac.

      I think that you may actually shop in pretty much every district in Hong Kong like from DIY items in Sham Shui Po to Gucci and Chanel bags in Tsim Sha Tsui. But let's concentrate on the areas that would interest most tourists.

      Go to Pacific place where it dedicates truly to high end shopping. The shops seem to get more and more high end, and of course pricier as you head up the three floors. There are quite a few eating places in there but they are also on the expensive side. The building is linked to other buildings such as Queensway building which doesn't really provide for more shopping but does have loads of other restaurants to choose from.

      Tsim Sha Tsui
      Harbor city is another shopper's paradise. I think it could possibly be the largest mall in Hong Kong. Knock yourself out there with all the high end brands. These brands are not only restricted to fashion but go on to contain electronics along with some real classy food stores and restaurants. Walking the entire length would make you extremely exhausted and...broke.
      Tsim Sha Tsui is also home to the largest Adidas store in Asia so just drop in and check out the Adidas products displayed on all THREE floors of the Adidas building.
      Tsim Sha Tsui is also a diner's paradise as it hosts to some delicious cuisines around every corner. When you're tired, just stop by these restaurants and treat yourself to the delicacies of Hong Kong

      Causeway Bay
      High end shopping could also be done in Causeway Bay Times Square. Each level has a specialized area, such as electronics, sports, kids, etc. Fashion brands include Club Monaco, Zara, Juicy Couture, Gucci, etc.
      Another major mall in Causeway Way = Sogo. Also with specialized levels, men, women, kids, electronics, household, etc. with a supermarket on bottom floor. Take note the 8th floor which is pretty much empty except for two small shops. It has been rumored that it is haunted. Previously it was completely empty, devoid of even those two small shops.
      Around Sogo, there are also local malls such as La Foret and Island Beverley which is the hangout for teens at a more affordable price and houses quite a few of Hong Kong's young designers.

      For tourists, if you hear Mongkok, you think Ladies Market. It is truly a place a tourist should venture to. It is an entire street with makeshift stalls selling mostly tourist stuff such as T-Shirts or Chinese artifacts. Here, you would have to bring out your best bargaining skills as there is definitely room to haggle especially if you bulk buy. Along with the souvenirs are cheap knockoffs of Tiffany, Ray Bans and tons of other jewelry, clothing and stuffed toys or even kinky underwear that are hung almost proudly over your heads- definitely worth your time
      Ladies Market is not unlike Stanley Market, a place far from centre of city and pretty much a tourist attraction as well. Ladies market beats Stanley Market as Stanley is way overpriced, though Stanley Market has the sea view and the nice bars.
      Through ladies market, you would catch a whiff of the local delicacy - smelly tofu. Do not be put off by the scent and have a try. It's delicious. It can be bought at the street stalls at around 10HKD. The stalls also sell other local favorites such as curry fish balls, siu mai, etc. However, do note that these places aren't particularly hygienic. I do recommend trying something at these stalls as it really does give you a taste of Hong Kong life (excuse the pun) but if you tend to react badly to food that may not have been handled correctly, then of course, don't try it - you don't want to spend your holiday in the toilet.
      Speaking of toilets, it can be difficult to find one in Mongkok so try to relieve yourself before going. There would of course be toilets in the restaurants but they can be extremely filthy and there tend to be quite long queues.
      One other reminder is that Mongkok can get crowded so do watch out for pickpockets. Other places in Mongkok such as Mongkok centre can also be interesting. It is not really a tourist area but it certainly is a favorite hangout for HK teenagers. Within this mall are shops selling extremely cheap bags, watches, jewelry, etc but these are mainly targeted at the teenagers. It is not a great place for parents because you will definitely stick out like a sore thumb.

      Tung Chung
      Tung Chung is somewhere a tourist should be heading in the first place as that's where Ngong Ping 360 is, the cable car.
      There, Citygate Mall is filled with outlets such as Esprit, The Body Shop, Club 21, Calvin Klein, Adidas, etc. Food there is also great as it houses Food Republic. Simply relax with lunch at food republic - a food court consisting of international food.

      To get around to these places, the best way is to take the MTR. Tung Chung, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay and Mongkok can all be located on the MTR map. Each station is populated with signs making it extremely easy to find your way around.

      Altogether, shopping in Hong Kong is extremely enjoyable. Service is always great - the sales person is initiative and helpful - except maybe for some salespeople in the local malls in Causeway Bay or in Mongkok. The shopping areas tend to be clean - esp. in the high end malls. But beware, Hong Kong malls can be packed on weekends as everyone come out to relax through shopping.


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      • General / Discussion / 51 Readings / 45 Ratings
        More +
        30.07.2009 16:55
        Very helpful
        1 Comment



        As the headline says, ME ME ME!

        All about me - copy and paste this review if you would like to do it!

        1.Which do you prefer - shower or bath? And why?
        Bath... stewing in my own filth is simply heavenly

        2. What do you swear you'll never do?
        I will never do drugs or smoke.

        3. What's the most embarrassing thing you ever done?
        Too many to keep track but here's one: During my school's swimming heats, I was preparing for my race, preparing to dive. But right before the teacher said go, I fell into the pool. Another girl, saw me go in, and proceeded to dive in. We then had to restart the race. This time, another girl fell in. As if this wasn't embarrassing enough, my entire year was there to witness it.

        4. What is your favourite quote?
        hmm... 'the man who says he can, is right. The man who says he can't, is also right.'...something like that.

        5. What was your favourite holiday? And why?
        Kathmandu: I went there with a bunch of friends and visited an orphanage - enriching and meaningful

        6. What was your favourite childhood toy?
        Minnie Mouse doll with only one eye.

        7. Do you have any pets?
        Fish - fighting fish

        8. Savoury or sweet?
        Sweet. I'm a super sweet tooth.

        9. Hot or cold?
        Cold weather, cold drinks... Anything cold, yes yes yes!

        10. What's your favourite drink?
        Mango juice

        11. What's your favourite food?
        Salmon Sushi -now I'm hungry...

        12. Who do you hate the most?
        No one.

        13. Do you have a crush on someone? If so, who?

        14. What is your favourite colour?
        White...- which is technically all the colours combined.

        15. What did you do last night?
        Watched Heroes and read Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz

        16. What's your favourite thing to do?
        Watching movies

        17. Favourite movie, T.V Program, Book?
        Movie: Ocean's Eleven
        TV: Friends (why did it have to end?!?!)
        Book: Enid Blyton books (a little age-inappropriate but all her books are timeless)

        18. Who's your hero?
        I do not need to be saved right now... don't really have a hero.

        19. Favourite song of all time?
        Potential Break Up Song - Aly & Aj

        20. Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
        Nope, and I hope I never will.

        21. Favourite Sound?
        The music they have in elevators

        22. Favourite Smell?
        Chocolate Chip Cookies, Body Shop's white musk

        23. Favourite place to be?
        Home. Comfy and familiar and a great place to unwind.

        24. Happiest moment in your life?
        er... hmm... tough one. Graduation, maybe?

        25. Saddest moment in your life so far?
        hmm, it has to be Graduation also. I was happy AND sad.

        26. What is your dream job?

        27. What would be your idea of a perfect date?
        Simple yet romantic - dinner, movie, that kind of simple stuff

        28. What are your favourite Newspaper/ Magazine?
        Fav' mag= Bliss

        29. Which celebrity do you like the most?
        Alessandra Ambrosio - the most awesome model ever.

        30. Do you have any siblings?
        yes. 1.

        31. Have you ever been in hospital? If so, why?
        Well, I always went to the hospital as a child. I had this habit of putting stuff up my nose and then cry. My parents would then rush me to the hospital where the doctor would ask me to stare up at the cat on the ceiling, whilst he got the bead/Barbie accessory/piece of paper/etc out. This happened to me quite a few times - the nurses knew me quite well at the end of the year.

        32. Have you ever broken a bone or had stitches?
        No. Fortunately.

        33. Do you believe in Angels/Ghosts/Demons?.

        34. Are you superstitious?
        Yes. Very.

        35. What colour eyes do you have?
        Dark brown.

        36. What colour hair do you have?

        37. What religion are you?

        38. If you could change 1 thing about you , what would it be?
        My nose - its nearly on the same level as the rest of my face, too flat.

        39. If you could change 1 thing about your personality, what would it be?
        wish I could be more outgoing.

        40. What is your biggest fear?

        41. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?
        I don't think I have any regrets at this point in life... yay me.

        42. Have you ever been in love?

        43. What's the most important thing to you in the world?

        44. What is your most treasured possession?
        My family - okayy, fine. They aren't my possessions. Erm. I guess my laptop then.

        45. What's your job?
        I'm just a student.

        46. What's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
        sending me my birthday present to hong kong all the way from Singapore. And in it was this whole bunch of stuff that I adored. I thought that was a very sweet move.

        47. What's the worst thing anyone has done to you?
        Backstab me?!

        48. Dream car?

        49. Favourite celebration?
        my birthday!

        50. Where do you hang out?

        51. What School did you go to?
        Island School. (I'm still going to this school)

        52. What/ Who annoys you?
        My sibling.

        53. Do you recycle?
        Regrettably, no.

        54. What's your favourite sport?

        55. Who was the last person to upset you?
        This friend who just wouldn't shut up about something I was sensitive about.

        56. What are your hobbies?
        Surfing the net, dooyoo-ing, playing age-inappropriate games on the internet.

        57. What was the last joke you heard?
        Jon and Dan are in a mental institution which has an annual contest that picks two of the best patients and gives them two questions. If they answer correctly, they are released.
        Jon is called into the doctor's office first. The doctor says, "Jon, what would happen if I poked out one of your eyes?"
        Jon says, "I'd be half blind."
        "That's correct. What would happen if I poked out both your eyes?"
        "I'd be completely blind." The doctor tells him that he is free to go. On Jon's way out he tells Dan the questions and answers.
        The doctor asks Dan, "What would happen if I cut off one of your ears?"
        Dan says, "I'd be half blind."
        The doctor, slightly puzzled, continues, "What would happen if I cut off both your ears?"
        "I'd be completely blind."
        "Dan, how can you explain that you'd be blind?" asks the doctor.
        "Well," replies Dan, "my hat would fall over my eyes."

        58. What is the best joke you've heard?
        Amazon suddenly finds himself surrounded by a bloodthirsty group of natives. Upon surveying his situation, he says quietly to himself, ''I'm screwed.''
        There is a ray of light from the sky and a voice booms out: ''No you are NOT screwed. Pick up that stone in front of you and bash the head of the chief.''
        So the explorer picks up the stone and proceedes to bash in the head of the chief. He is breathing heavily while standing above the lifeless body. Surrounding him are the 100 native warriors with a look of shock on their faces.
        The voice booms out again: ''Okay.......NOW you're screwed!''

        59. What's the worst joke you've heard?
        Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell over. Who was left on the boat?

        60. Name 3 places you have been on holiday:
        Thailand, Singapore, Kathmandu

        61. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
        Sitting in front of my laptop... same as what I'm doing now.

        62. Favourite Season?
        Summer - sun, sand, sea - GORGEOUS!

        63. What's your favourite website?
        msn.com - so many cool stuff condensed to one website.

        64. What's your favourite shop?
        The body shop

        65. What's your worst habit?
        Scolding people when they wake me up and I wake up grumpy and end up having a serious fight about it.

        66. What's your favourite animal?

        67. What is your ultimate fantasy?
        Travelling around the world

        68. Can you cook?
        that depends...does being able to make toast count?

        69. What is the last lie you told?
        That I totally understood what my teacher was talking about.

        70. Favourite flavour ice-cream?
        Dreyer's Chocolate Cake

        71. Favourite take-away?
        Subway sandwiches

        72. What do you hate doing the most?

        73. What do you like doing the most?
        Read, watching movies, eating, shopping!

        74. If you were a Super Hero what would your name be?

        75. What is your favourite name?

        76. If you were an animal what would you like to be?
        cat - lying around, lazing

        77. What would your animal name be?
        Bolt - I'll be really overly-hyper, and dashing here and there.

        78. If you could go back in time, what time would you go to?
        Egyptian times

        79. Any person alive or dead - who would you meet?
        Michael Jackson - a legend.

        80. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

        81. Favourite musician(s)?
        Taylor Swift

        82. What was/is your nickname?
        Marshmallow, Marushi, Marks and Spencer, etc, etc.

        83. Have you been to college?

        84. What is the wildest thing you've ever done?
        Tell a teacher she's an awful teacher.

        85. Can you play an instrument?

        86. What's your favourite Disney Character?
        Minnie Mouse

        87. Favourite theme park?

        88. What size feet are you?

        89. If you were King/Queen for a day what 3 changes would you make to the world?
        1. Make sure distribution of food is spread equally, so everyone will not starve
        2. Bring about true equalty between men and women everywhere
        3. Really encourage the preservation of the ancient artifacts and architecture, etc.

        90. What is your favourite Night Club?

        91. Name one thing that most people don't know about you?

        92. When was the last time you cried? And why?
        I watched friends. I cried at the part when Phoebe had to give away her triplets to her brother.

        93. If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
        1. Dream House with a gorgeous Japanese style garden
        2. Be friends with Justin Timberlake
        3. 3 more wishes. - I can't help it, I can't put it down to just 3...

        94. Would you ever have plastic surgery? If so, where?
        Doubt that I would

        95. What are you most ashamed of?
        I didn't know the times table until I was in primary school (Primary 3)

        96. What pet would you love to have?
        A monkey! And I'll keep it in this cage with a tree and everything

        97. Blondes/ Brunettes or Red heads?

        98. If you won the lottery what would you spend the money on?
        Build my dream house in Singapore - with the coolest kitchen ever!

        99. If you could have a super power/ ability, what would it be?
        Fly... and I don't want superman kind of flying, I want wings!

        100. Did you enjoy doing this quiz?
        yepp, sure made me think about stuff that I have never thought about before.


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        • Get Smart (DVD) / DVD / 84 Readings / 83 Ratings
          More +
          27.07.2009 06:20
          Very helpful



          Get Smart should've been smarter

          =Production Details=
          Classification: PG
          Duration: 110 minutes
          Genre: Comedy
          Director: Peter Segal
          Cast: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp,

          =Summary =
          Based on a 1960s TV series, Get Smart follows Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) who is on a mission to unravel and stop the latest plot for world domination by the evil organization, KAOS. The U.S. spy agency that Smart works for then comes under attack and its agents' identities are then compromised, forcing, the Chief (Alan Arkin) to send his analyst, Smart, into the field coupled with the alluring Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). Smart is armed with nothing, but a few spy-tech gadgets that he hasn't really mastered and with even less field experience, to stop KAOS and their plans for world domination.

          =Plot Critic=
          Being based on the TV series that had delivered quite a bit of laughs, you would expect the film producers to concentrate on comedy as well. But, unfortunately, that is not true of this movie. Instead, the producers have chosen to follow in the James Bond footsteps and create a film that achieves neither gripping excitement nor hilarious entertainment. However, I would have to say the chase scenes were elaborate and provided eye candy at times.

          The plot did not develop enough. All I could see was Carell dashing here and there with Hathaway running after him to save his ass.

          * Steve Carell (Maxwell Smart/Agent 86)*
          Agent 86 was a befitting role to offer to Steve Carell and was a suitable role to add to Carell's career of comedy acting. He is the next Jim Carrey, just less exaggerated (which is a compliment). Carell has an effortless charm to win over the audience and keep them entertained for most of the 110 minutes. He was naturally the star of the show with his goofy-ness and his ability to pull off almost any joke. His charm was infectious, allowing Anne Hathaway to come off better and funnier. He fit right into Maxwell Smart's shoes (which can also be used as a phone) and his personality just made the character lovable and enjoyable.

          However, unfortunately, the producers shifted the focus to the action and not the comedy and were then thus not allowing the full potential of Carell to shine through. Luckily, his charm was still able score laughs and managed to save the movie from being unsatisfactory. This movie would not be a disappointment to Steve Carell fans.

          * Anne Hathaway (Agent 99)*
          Anna Hathaway displayed great comic timing with Carell but I found her to be inappropriate as the female lead. The age difference between her and Steve Carell was just plain unnatural. In the movie they had explained this by saying that she had arranged for the plastic surgeons to take a few years off her face. But it just seemed weird seeing her together with Carell and the fact that she was supposed to be senior to Carell made it worse.
          Other than that, she was pretty much in the background of the movie, forced to take the backseat as Carell simply dominated the screens. She was merely just a pretty face in the movie.

          There were some spectacular scenes in this movie with great settings with tons of places that made me want to go there. I thought Segal had done great capturing the beauty and distinction of each place the filming was done.

          Pete Segal specialises in comedies, many of them extremely entertaining. But in this movie, his sense of humour does not deliver. He has tried to shift it too far into the action aspect and ruined what could have been a top rate comedy film.

          Altogether, the producers tried to amp up the action, overriding the comedy elements and bringing out a messy coercion of both. And the result? A comedy that is not terribly funny and a spy movie that is not very exciting. Get smart tries to be something it is not and follows after the footsteps of James Bond, with poor results. They should've just stuck with the comedy elements.

          However, the film was great to look at. There was Anne Hathaway and there were the settings. The places were simply gorgeous.

          No matter what, I guarantee that you will walk away from this movie, loving the props. There was the shoe phone and the Swiss Army knife that Smart never really found out how to use. God, I wish I had one of those.
          Get smart has been so transformed during the transition from the sitcom to the big screens that they might as well have called it something else. Get Smart does recycle many of the sitcom's jokes but luckily, the cast saves the day by making the jokes somewhat still fresh. The cast was a good recipe for a good time with many comedians (though they were all not pushed to their full potential in this movie). Old time comedians like Arkin and Stamp deserved more limelight than they did. They were experienced comedians and would have been able to bring the film to a much more entertaining level. However, it works great for an audience who hasn't watch the TV series


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          • Death Defying Acts (DVD) / DVD / 240 Readings / 230 Ratings
            More +
            17.01.2009 08:08
            Very helpful



            The movie is good and enjoyable but can be frustrating at times too.

            The success of The Prestige and The Illusionist sure set the trend and standard of magician films. And well frankly, Death Defying Acts, trails far behind.

            Set in 1926, the infamous illusionist, Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) is on a world tour. He offers a grand reward of $10,000 to any psychic who can tell him his mother's last words. It is an attempt to get rid of the phoney psychics. On his world tour, he reaches Edinburgh where he meets the ravishingly beautiful con psychic, Mary McGarvie (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who hosts an act with her daughter, Benji (Saoirse Ronan). They had approached Houdini, determined to win the prize. In the process, romance surfaces.

            =Plot Critic=
            I enjoyed this movie though not as much as I had expected especially after enjoying the prestige and the illusionist. I liked the way most of the movie is shown through Benji's eyes, allowing the film to be simple.

            I found the plot to be good but could have been much better. At certain parts, it could be disappointing. The ending was weak. Also, the romance between McGarvie and Houdini just seem to get in the way of what could have been the main theme.

            It had initially been planned for the movie to be done without Houdini and with instead, a fictional character - maybe that would've been a better choice. It seemed too much of a fiction and just didn't come off very real to me. I was not prepared to believe it that much. The flirtacious dancing scenes between Houdini and McGarvie were overused and cheesy. Altogether, the movie felt superficial and hard to believe.

            *Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce)*
            Guy Pearce, playing Harry Houdini, is a versatile actor and we see him in Death Defying Acts give a chillingly convincing performance. He has managed to bring Houdini to life, creating an intriguing figure. Pearce's portrayal of Houdini was also charming and nearly made me fall for the weird-haired lunatic who performs 'death-defying' tricks.

            *Mary McGarvie (Catherine Zeta-Jones)*
            Zeta-Jones' acting is likeable. Her beauty was easily impressed on me. Despite her giving a vivid and splendid performance, I can't help but think that she pales in comparison to Pearce and Ronan.

            *Benji (Saoirse Ronan)*
            Once again, Saoirse Ronan has made another impressive performance after her convincing portrayal in Atonement. Her natural acting has made her an easy favourite amongst the Death Defying Acts' cast.

            I thought the melodramatic background was wonderful. It allowed my emotions to dance throughout the movie. It elevated the weak parts of the movie to become slightly more emotional and stirring.

            I thought the directing was not bad but not particular mind-blowing either. There were quite average shots with the occasional emotionally provocative image.

            Overall, not a bad movie but could be better.


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            • More +
              29.12.2008 20:08
              Very helpful



              A must-have in my opinion if you have the money for it and take your running seriously

              Got a Polar RS800sd for christmas, and have been messing about/training with it for about a week now.

              And here are my thoughts on this wonderful piece of training equipment:

              = The Good =

              Top of the range HR monitor for runners, as good as it gets.

              Decent-sized display screen, found it easy to read my HR data etc off the screen while running

              New W.I.N.D. technology for better transmission between HR monitor strap and the watch itself - read that the older technology sometimes led to the watch reading off someone else's HR strap when in close proximity, which can be a hassle.

              Easy transfer of training data from the watch to the computer via the Infrared interface - mine came with the watch itself, but read someone that it may be cheaper not to buy the Polar one.

              Polar ProTrainer 5 software - what a gem! Very, very useful piece of software, allows for quick reading of training data (fresh from transferring from the watch), with professional graphs to read off. Useful for maintaining a training diary on the computer, able to key in misc. data into each day's training entry such as mood and personal daily notes. Able to design workouts on the software as well, but have yet to try that function out.

              New and lighter S3 footpod device - smaller in size - and able to measure speed, distance and running cadence.

              = The Bad =

              Not exactly the prettiest sports watch around, but its relatively small size makes it good enough to wear around.

              Does not support cycling, but that's not a problem for me since I do not even own a bicycle at the moment.

              The price of the watch itself - listed at 226.66 on amazon.co.uk at the moment - but then again, this is as good as it gets for a running computer. As they say, you get what you pay for!

              = Overall Thoughts =

              If you have the money to spare, and take your running seriously, this is the one to get!


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              • Meat / Recipe / 122 Readings / 117 Ratings
                More +
                29.12.2008 17:35
                Very helpful



                You have never done meat in chocolate sauce??? Well, you're missing out.

                This dish is exquisite and is a dish that can be served at dinner parties and is one that can definitely impress everyone. It is not a common dish and will dazzle with its opulent flavors. This dish can also be made with other types of meat too. Ingredient preparation takes about 20 minutes and cooking takes about 1 3/4 hours.

                Vegetable Oil -------------------------------------------- 5tbsp
                Boneless veal -------------------------------------------- 675g (cut into 2.5cm cubes)
                Onion --------------------------------------------------------- 1, chopped
                Garlic Cloves ---------------------------------------------- 2, chopped
                Carrots ------------------------------------------------------- 2, chopped
                Celery Stalks ---------------------------------------------- 2, chopped
                Fresh red chilies ----------------------------------------- 2, seeded and chopped
                Red wine ----------------------------------------------------- 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 cups
                Beef bouillon ---------------------------------------------- 1/2 cup
                Chopped fresh thyme -------------------------------- 2 tsp
                Bay leaf -------------------------------------------------------- 1
                Juniper berries -------------------------------------------- 4, lightly crushed
                Cloves ---------------------------------------------------------- 2
                Cinnamon Stick ------------------------------------------- 2.5cm pc
                Chestnuts ---------------------------------------------------- 225g
                Shallots -------------------------------------------------------- 8, quartered
                Dark Chocolate -------------------------------------------- 55g, grated
                Salt and Pepper

                Chopped fresh parsley -------------------------------- 2 tbsp

                1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large, flameproof casserole.

                2. Add veal and cook over a medium heat, stirring until lightly browned.vRemove from casserole and set aside

                3. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and chilies to the casserole and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until the onion is softened.

                4. Preheat the oven to 200。C.

                5. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the wine and all of the bouillon and return the meat to the casserole.

                6. Add the thyme, bay lead, juniper berries, cloves and cinnamon, and season with salt and pepper.

                7. Bring to a boil, stirring, then cook in the oven for 1 hour.

                8. Top up the casserole with more wine from time to time, if necessary.

                9. Meanwhile make a cross in the bottom of the chestnuts, put them in a cookie sheet.

                10. Bake at 200。C for 20 minutes, then shell them.

                11. While the chestnuts are cooking, place the shallots in a small roasting pan and coat them with the remaining oil. Roast at the same oven temperature for 15-20 minutes, until golden and tender.

                12. Remove the casserole from the oven and lift out the meat with a draining spoon.

                13. Place it in a serving dish, add the chestnuts and shallots, and keep warm. Strain the cooking juices into a clean pan and discard the contents of the strainer.

                14. Set the pan over a medium heat, bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced.

                15. Stir in the chocolate until melted and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

                16. Pour the sauce over the meat, sprinkle with the parsley, and bay leaves if using and serve.

                17. Serve.

                Bon Appétit!


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                • More +
                  29.12.2008 17:16
                  Very helpful



                  Wish I didn't buy it.

                  = Introduction =

                  Bought this game on the first day it was out. I still remember vividly all the hype the game was generating, all the overwhelmingly positive previews gamesites were reporting on the game.

                  = The Good =

                  To begin with, I thought the game had a tonne of potential to be a really good one. The basic idea behind the game is an interesting one - two characters teaming up, co-op all the way through the campaign and beyond.

                  The aggro feature was very fun - basically, the more a character fires at the enemy, the more aggro he would attain, with his partner becoming invisible and able to sneak past and around the enemy line. This is especially fun when I was playing offline co-op with my mate - lots of chat and teamwork involved, good fun.

                  Another thing that's good about the game is the fact that you get cash to spend with the completion of each mission. The money can be spent on custom face masks, add-ons to existing weapons, new weapons etc - something interesting to look forward to, as reward for each mission.

                  = Bad =
                  Okay, for starters, the basic gameplay is quite bad to be honest. I found the game to be too slow, too unresponsive, and it has been noted quite frequently that it can be frustratingly difficult to shoot on the move, making the game more difficult than it should be.

                  When playing the campaign mode by myself, I often found my AI partner to be unbelievably useless, which was really annoying especially in times of intense, heavy fire from the enemies. The campaign itself isn't very long either.

                  = Overall thoughts =

                  Personally, I would say the game definitely did not live up to the pre-launch hype, and is mediocre at best - the slow gameplay pretty much ruined my experience on the game. Better off sticking to class shooter game series like Call of Duty.


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                  • More +
                    27.12.2008 12:54
                    Very helpful
                    1 Comment



                    Not a fan


                    Decided to get this game because I was in the gameshop one fine afternoon in need of a new game to fight boredom and this was the game on display on the shop's main display TV. And it caught my eye - given that I've never tried Dynasty Warrior before - the action looked fairly interesting and fast-paced.

                    = Gameplay =

                    Very basic gameplay involved - basically, you pick and control a hero, fighting through thousands of AI troops, with the odd enemy leaders here and there, while pressing the same buttons over and over again, and then repeat. Pretty much just mindless violence, slashing, not exactly high on intellectual stimulation.

                    From what I read, and as mentioned above I've never played Dynasty Warrior before, there are new features in this edition such as the "Renbu" attack system - this allows you to conjure up powerful attacks as they string attacks together in a row. Which is interesting at the start, but like the game on the whole, it gets repetitive and boring after a while.

                    = Graphics =

                    Game graphics are a big thing to me, and this is where I guess the game doesn't do too poorly. The game engine handles the action quite adequately too - thus seldom encountering drops in frame rates even in the heat of the action.

                    = Thoughts =

                    This game reminded me of the games I used to play when I was a kid on Sega and Playstation One - games where all you do is press the same buttons over and over again, killing an almost-neverending flow of enemies. And I guess, I've grown out of such games already, as I quickly found Dynasty Warrior 6 to be incredibly repetitive and boring. And just as quickly, the game was left in the corner of my room, never to be touched again.

                    Lesson learnt.


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                    • Wanted (DVD) / DVD / 58 Readings / 58 Ratings
                      More +
                      27.12.2008 11:53
                      Very helpful



                      It's trash but I love it anyways.

                      Classification: PG
                      Duration: 108 mins
                      Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure
                      Director: Timur Bekmambetov
                      Lead actor: James McAvoy
                      Cast: Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common, Kristen Hager, Marc Warren, David O'Hara and Konstantin Khabensky
                      Producer: Sally French, Jared LeBoff, Jim Lemley, David Minkowski, Jason Netter, Marc E. Platt, Iain Smith and Matthew Stillman
                      Screenplay: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas and Chris Morgan
                      Music: Danny Elfman

                      Wanted is an action packed thriller that is cool yet mindless. There does not seem to be much development of the plot just loads of ultra-cool stunts. It has the most impossible stunts (that had made me crave to become and assassin).

                      The movie surrounds around Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), an unhappy office worker. He has a boss who constantly breathes down his neck and a girlfriend who is currently cheating on him with his best friend. But Gibson doesn't have the courage to do anything about it and can only get angry at the world around him.

                      He then meets Fox (Angelina Jolie) and his world gets turned upside down. He is then informed that the father that had left him when he was a baby had just been murdered by Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) and he had been a key member of The Fraternity, an ancient secret society of assasins. Now Cross is after Wesley. Wesley must now then train to become an assassin to protect himself and avenge his father.

                      =Plot Critic=
                      Well, as previously mentioned, I had felt that the plot development was not that great. The movie just seems stuck at showing the audience just how creative the stunts were. There was just so much mindless violence that it just took over the entire movie. It was also pretty outrageous - perhaps too outrageous for me. The effects used every minute of the film were far too many and too...unrealistic as we watched way too many bullets in slow motion.

                      And well, I must say, actually that I did kind of enjoy the stunts involved - as mentioned, they were ccreative and never seen before. They simply really surprising and enjoyable to watch as we see realism thrown out the window and cars flying through the air and bullets bending.

                      Warning, the movie is pretty gory with blood splattered with every kill (which is plenty in this movie)

                      *Angelina Jolie (Fox)*
                      Angelina Jolie plays a perfect Fox. Without having looked at her acting skills, we can already see her as the perfect Fox. She is able to bring out the dangerous and viciously sexy look as befitting Fox.

                      Jolie's acting skills only made her an even better Fox. She is able to successfully display the style that Fox has. Her portrayal of an assassin was really what had made me crave to be an assassin as I saw her ride on train tops, participate in intense car races, etc. she is also able to add this extra energy into the movie.

                      Altogether, Angelina Jolie kills, bullets optional

                      *James McAvoy (Wesley Gibson)*
                      The Scottish actor gives the film loads of energy as we see him transform from stifled, cowering office worker to ultimate killing machine with much anger to release. His first portrayals as a stifled office worker really gave me an unnerving impression on the reality of Wesley Gibson's sucky life with a bad job, a bad girlfriend, a bad friend and altogether a life that sucks. He is able to chillingly show the anger that he feels for everyone and everything around him. Through his portrayals I could see everything that made him get angry such as Janice, his 'aneroxic boss' constant clicking with the stapler by his ears. Even as the audience, through McAvoy's acting, we get to become ticked off listening to the stapler clicks and start to hate Janice too.

                      Wesley Gibson is then propelled into the world of assassins and he then gives another splendid performance. He is able to again show the frustration that he has and could successfully communicate his confusion, anger, vengenance that he had experienced as he is accepted into the world of assassins. He also gives, like Jolie, the demonstation of the ultra-cool moves that an assassin may pull.

                      =Director (Timur Bekmambetov)=
                      The Russian director has managed to once again provide a gory and extremely violent film to us. In this movie, he once again indulges in the thrills of hardcore violence. His obsession to show us the process of every killing can be seen through the many angles that he had chosen to use and the use of slow motion to illustrate to us where each bullet in the movie went.

                      I believe that perhaps the film had initially wanted to show a man trying to take on a culture that has stifled and turned him into a pussy. This can be seen subtly through the anger that McAvoy demonstrates at his surroundings. But Bekmambetov had decided to forget all about that and concentrate on the many never-thought-about ways that you can go about assassinating someone. Well, I'm not saying that's necessarily bad - it had made Wanted a mindless watch but had made it also a top rate action-packed, gripping movie.

                      Altogether, I found the movie flat in terms of plot development but the action contained in the movie is quick and gripping. After all, it is brutal, sexy and built to thrill. The pace of the movie is rapid and the action just slams you to the back of your seat, forcing your eyes on viciously sexy Angelina Jolie and chillingly well acted James McAvoy shoot impossible bullets at black clothed men and the movie refuses to let up for the entire duration.


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                      • What's In Your Bag? / Discussion / 72 Readings / 71 Ratings
                        More +
                        26.12.2008 06:00
                        Very helpful
                        1 Comment



                        I have a permanent red line across my right shoulder.

                        I have always felt the things in my bag to be very personal - they just reflect so much of me and especially the embarrassing sides that I don't really feel inclined to show everyone. But here goes:

                        The bag that I use changes as I embark on different trips:
                        *To school: a pink outdoors backpack
                        *To a party: fake brown leather handbag
                        *To shopping: yellow canvas shoulder bag
                        *To the gym: black nike shoulder bag

                        But regardless of the bag I carry, I always carry with me the following:
                        =Black and Silver Purse=
                        This is my newly bought purse. It is a striped black and silver long wallet. My previous one had been a black and white Billabong wallet with the word billabong all over it that had just gone too dirty.

                        Now, inside my wallet:
                        *My purple student card with a ridiculous picture of me grinning way too widely.

                        *A Stored Value Multipurpose card that I need for the school printers and photocopiers

                        *A lime green laminated chemistry 'formulae to learn' card that I got from my teacher back in year 8. This may actually be the reason for my A in chemistry - To this day, I still know that Hydrochloric Acid is HCl.

                        *Movie ticket stubs from the past year - Cloverfield, Kung Fu Panda, Wanted, Quantum of Solace, Beverly Hills Chihuahua (that I must say, I had enjoyed very much despite the cheesiness) and Twilight (Who would have thought a vampire could look that sexy?)

                        *Random coupons and vouchers - e.g. 5% off popcorn at the cinema

                        *Sticker pics/Neoprints that I took in in Singapore and Hong Kong with my friends and cousins. Oh look, there's me again, grinning too widely.

                        *Separate zip for coins where I currently have 1.25 British pounds, 20 Hong Kong Dollars, 0.5 Singapore Dollars and 3 Nepalese rupees.

                        =Pack of tissue=
                        Well, I think it's just wise to have tissue in your bag. You know, you sneeze and things get ugly, surely you want a tissue. You stain your shirt with spaghetti sauce and you need a tissue to wipe it. You chew gum and wish to get rid of it and you need a tissue. I could go on forever on the many uses of tissue. Definitely an essential item in my bag.

                        =Used Scrunched up tissue=
                        It probably has yesterdays' gum in it. I don't wish to open it and make sure. Yes, I realize that's disgusting. And now, I'm disposing it.

                        =Pen and Paper=
                        I find it most annoying when I go out and think of something that I wish to remember later such as something I want to buy but when then I would proceed to forget all about it. To solve this, I have decided recently to bring a pen and paper in my bag. I find it faster to jot things down then to type them into my mobile. Also, they're more versatile in that I can draw anything on the paper too.

                        =Mobile Phone=
                        I can't live without my phone. I know it's pathetic, my need for a phone, but I can't live without it. I need it for phone calls, messages, etc. and its useful when I need a calculator, not to mention the games inside the phone.
                        My phone currently has like 3 scratches on the back. My keys are actually all cracked too. I click to hard when I type. I can't help it.

                        =Creative Zen Vision W=
                        The bulkiest and heaviest music player that I have ever owned. It's 60gb and can store music, photos and video. There's this ginormous screen that allows me to view movies without having to squint. Of course, this is then attached to my previously-white Panasonic in-ear earphones. They are just so comfy but they're starting to look closer to black than white.

                        I carry a camera around because my phone's camera is just not that great. This is a recent addition to my bag. I had found it annoying to wander around, perhaps, shopping and find something that I wish to take pictures of like the Halloween decorations, etc. Also, cameras are essential when I'm going to a social gathering. The camera is decorated with scratches just like my phone.

                        I would always have candy or gum in my bag. I just find it necessary to have something to chew on whilst I'm riding the public transport.

                        I have got earrings from yesterday. I had taken them off and put it in my bag as they had started to hurt my ears. I had then proceeded to forget about them until now.

                        =Receipts and random coins=
                        I have this annoying habit of laziness where I just can't be bothered to put my receipts and coins in my wallet. The notes usually end up in my wallet but for some reason, I just put the coins and receipts in any opening I can find on my bag.

                        I don't desperately need spectacles to see so I don't tend to wear them that much. But when I'm going to watch a movie, I need them - for example, I had thought brad pitt had made an appearance in Quantum of solace but it turned out to be just a random passerby.

                        =Lip balm=
                        My trusty body shop lip balm. It smells nice, is from body shop (who claims that they don't harm the world and I believe them) and is good for my lips. So I carry it everywhere I go.

                        =Hand Lotion=
                        Having dry hands can be the most painful thing that I have had to endure in winter especially like going to school and having to write essays with dry skin. Having dry skin causes my skin to peel and exposes my pressure-sensitive sensors. Touching it then triggers my pain receptors and this then triggers an 'ouch' from my mouth.

                        So there, you know the intimate details of my bag. To me, all that I have listed are essential to me.I now know why my bag's always so heavy.


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                        • Brownies / Recipe / 62 Readings / 62 Ratings
                          More +
                          25.12.2008 17:49
                          Very helpful



                          Quick, easy treats that can be made on demand!

                          These treats are simply great to make - less hassle as they do not need baking. The whole process takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes - 2 hours and 15 minutes for ingredient preparation and 5 minutes for cooking time. It makes about 16 pieces.

                          - Dark chocolate (275g)
                          - Butter (3/4 cup)
                          - Light corn syrup (4 tbsp)
                          - Plain cookies (175g)
                          - Toasted rice cereal (25g)
                          - Chopped walnuts or pecan nuts (1/2 cup)
                          - Candied cherries (1/2 cup, coarsely chopped)
                          - White chocolate - to decorate (25g)
                          - OPTIONAL - Dark rum (2tbsp)

                          1. Place the dark chocolate in large mixing bowl with butter, syrup, (and rum) and set over a pan of gently simmering water until melted, stirring until blended.

                          2. Break the cookies into small pieces and stir into the chocolate mixture along with toasted rice cereal, nuts and cherries.

                          3. Line 18cm square pan with baking parchment.

                          4. Pour mixture into the pan and level the top, pressing down well with the back of a spoon.

                          5. Chill for 2 hours

                          6. To decorate, melt white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cake randomly.

                          7. Let it set

                          8. Carefully turn out of the pan and remove baking parchment.

                          9. Cut cake into 16 squares.

                          10. Serve

                          Bon Appétit!


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                          • Desserts / Recipe / 45 Readings / 45 Ratings
                            More +
                            25.12.2008 09:33
                            Very helpful



                            A delicious family treat for everyone

                            This chocolate cake contains yogurt giving the cake an extra moist texture. It takes about 1 hour 45 minutes - 55 minutes for ingredient preparation and 50 minutes for the actual cooking. It's really quick and totally delicious. It tastes really rich and I usually bake it for family events.

                            - Vegetable oil (2/3 cup)
                            - Whole Milk Unsweetened Yogurt (2/3 cup)
                            - Light Brown Sugar (1 1/4 cups)
                            - Eggs (3, beaten)
                            - Whole-wheat self-raising flour (3/4 cups)
                            - Self-raising Flour (1 cup, strained)
                            - Unsweetened Cocoa (2tbsp)
                            - Baking Soda (1 tsp)
                            - Dark Chocolate (50g, Melted)

                            Filling and Topping:
                            - Whole Milk Unsweetened Yogurt (2/3 cup)
                            - Heavy Cream (2/3 cup)
                            - Fresh Soft Fruit - e.g. strawberries or raspberries (225g)

                            1. Grease a deep 23 cm round cake pan and line the bottom with baking parchment

                            2. Place oil, yogurt, sugar and beaten eggs in large mixing bowl and beat together until well combined.

                            3. Strain flours, cocoa and baking soda together and beat into the bowl until well combined.

                            4. Beat in the melted chocolate.

                            5. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven, 180。C for 45-50 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

                            6. Let the cake cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn out to a wire rack to cool completely.

                            7. When cold, split the cake into 3 layers

                            8. To make filling, place yogurt and cream in large ixing bowl and whisk well until the mixture stands in soft peaks.

                            9. Place on layer of cake on to a serving plate and spread with some of the cream

                            10. Top with a little of the fruits (slicing larger fruits such as strawberries into thin pieces)

                            11. Repeat with next layer

                            12. Top with the final layer of cake and spread with the rest of the cream.

                            13. Arrange more fruit on top and cut the cake into wedges

                            14. Serve

                            Bon Appetit!


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                          • More +
                            24.12.2008 22:32
                            Very helpful
                            1 Comment



                            Almost as good as Call of Duty 4, a very good game nonetheless

                            What a game!

                            To be perfectly honest, I'm a noob at this genre. Was always a sports console game kind of guy. Well, that changed when I gave Call of Duty 4 a shot, and I've been a major fan of first-person shooters ever since. And of course, having loved CoD4, I had to get this to satisfy my CoD urges.

                            Okay, for starters, the developers have decided to go back to the WW2 time period for this game. I note that many gamers and sites have not been kind on the developers for not sticking to the present warfare - I really didn't mind to be honest given that I had not previously played a WW2 shooter before. And the game did not disappoint.

                            Fast-paced, excellent voice-overs, terrific sight and sound systems are in place to add the kind of breathtaking realism to the game. With a good enough TV and sufficient sound system, you'd actually feel like you are IN the war itself.

                            The campaign mode lived up to the series' name as well. Split between playing as an American soldier fighting against the Japanese and playing as a Russian solider pushing into Germany, it is beautifully crafted, with its twists and very interesting missions. Played it once through so far, and I'm really tempted to give it a shot again, that's how good it is. However, I have to mark it down a bit in that I felt the campaign was rather short, much like the campaign mode in Call of Duty 4. The realism and downright-exciting gameplay more than make up for the short campaign though.

                            I think one of the main draws of CoD these days is the multiplayer mode, and unfortunately, I have yet to give it a shot, due to a lack of internet access for my console at my new place. However, I have heard many good things about it and I really can't wait to give it a shot.

                            A very interesting new mode though that I have tried is the Nazi Zombies mode. I tried it as an offline co-op, playing with my mate, and boy was it intense. Basically, you're left to defend yourself in a run-down house against waves after waves of Nazi zombies. Very, very addictive I have to say.

                            Anyway, all in all, I personally feel that World at War lives up to the hype and the Call of Duty franchise name. A must-have for all CoD/FPS fans. As for people who've never tried such shooter games before, I reckon Call of Duty 4 would be the better bet still - get that first, and then decide afterwards if you like the genre, then get out there and get this!

                            Re: comparisons with Call of Duty 4
                            Do not get me wrong, I do feel that World at War is most definitely a worthy successor to the widely-successful CoD 4. However, I missed using the latest modern warfare equipment and weapons. Also, given that this was based on WW2, we all knew what was going to be the end-result, whereas for CoD 4, there was the element of surprise to the script, not knowing exactly how things will pan out at the end.


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                            • Nokia 8800 / Mobile Phone / 48 Readings / 45 Ratings
                              More +
                              24.12.2008 16:30
                              Very helpful


                              • Reliability


                              A simply stylish phone that will impress everyone else except the buyer.

                              The Nokia 8800 phone is worth a small fortune and it certainly looks the price! Its design is chic, sleek and stylish. The phone simply radiates luxury and elegance. The timeless design, has more than once, made me a proud owner of it, as I walk down the streets, flashing the silver lid in the sunshine.

                              The phone itself is made up of top materials - with reinforced glass and stainless steel. However, despite the phone being made to be durable, scratches on the phone are VERY obvious. Warning: be extremely careful and delicate. If you are known to be quite a rough person, I would advise to choose another phone.

                              Also, for all you technology-fanatics out there, well, this phone is not really for you. There isn't anything technologically exciting about this phone at all. The basic modern phone capabilities only, nothing refreshing and exciting.

                              The phone itself was, in my opinion, very heavy. For such a small phone, it was quite heavy and when I put it in my pants' pocket, I swear I lean towards the side.

                              The phone's volume was also aggravating. The volume was incredibly soft. I couldn't hear the other person in my phone calls. The clarity is awful.

                              Other issues I had had with the phone include the miniature keypad. It was painfully small. When I had first used it, I constantly clicked two buttons at the same time - there's nothing like unintentionally clicking two buttons at the same time to make you feel fat. I eventually got used to the pad and started using my fingertips but that wasn't exactly ideal. The keypad, even though stylish, was way too small.

                              Also, just a reminder: should you do buy the phone, the clear button is not where you usually find it. At first, I kept using the back button instead of the clear button causing me to have to rewrite many of my messages. Nokia, not so user friendly after all.

                              The phone comes with a charging base and 2 batteries. The charging base was made of stainless steel with a glowing LED bottom. The sheer care in design of the charger is amazing. I love how the phone compliments the charger. The phone runs out of battery quite quickly and trust me, the two batteries are necessary!


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                              • More +
                                08.09.2008 18:42
                                Very helpful



                                A great game if you're looking for a simple game to lose yourself in.

                                Having always fancied myself to one day be a manager or chef at a big restaurant, I thought Diner Dash would be the perfect game for me. I had previously tried an online trial of Diner Dash and found it quite fun. I then bought Diner Dash 2 as I had thought there would be more entertaining elements than in Diner Dash 1.

                                Flo has returned to save her four friends' restaurants from being purchased by business tyrant, Mr. Big. He had tripled their rent, threatening to demolish their restaurants, to make way for his Mega Multiplex Foodplaza, should they fail to pay.

                                In the game, you are controlling Flo, who is a waitress. You drag customers onto tables. They will then read their menus, and they'll raise their hands when they are ready to order. You then direct Flo to their table to take their orders and pass it to the chef. The chef will take a while to prepare the meal and once ready the food will appear with a number on it. This number then corresponds to the number of the table where the food needs to be delivered to. After their meal, they'll raise their hands again for their cheque. Lastly, after their departure, you'll need to clean the tables and put the dishes aside.

                                There are two modes in the game - Story Mode and Endless Shift.

                                Story Mode simply means the game progresses in levels. At each level you are to reach a goal within a certain period of time. At the end of each level, you are then able to add decor to the shop to appeal to customers (you get 3 options of décor if you succeed with an expert score, but only 2 if you do not). Throughout the story mode, additions are introduced to make the game more interesting and challenging.

                                Endless shift is exactly as it sounds - endless. There is no time limit but every time you reach a fixed goal, you shall be able to upgrade something. This upgrade could be new tables, a coffee machine, etc. - something to ensure the smooth running of the restaurant. In this mode, you are not gradually introduced to things such as families. In this mode, everything goes.

                                Both modes are fun to play. I especially like the endless shift mode - it was simply hectic towards the end.

                                I have liked the new additions to the game. Four new characters have been added (and two characters have been removed). There is now the Family (family with a baby who will cry and disturb other customers), Cell Phone Addicts (people who drive other customers crazy with their talking), Joggers (My favorite: because they have headphones, they are not easily annoyed) and the Bookworms (who come to look for a quiet place to read).

                                Benches have been added to deal with waiting customers in the line. A more interesting addition is the Phone. After completing a few levels, you may call a Busboy (clears up the tables), Hostess (keep customer's happy while they are waiting in the line), Bartender (serves drinks constantly) or the Performer (entertains customers at their tables).

                                The graphics and animation are as great as ever. The design is pretty much the same as the prequel - it is just as pleasing to the eye.

                                I'll be honest; this game is addictive once you start playing it. But after a few times while, I got fairly bored of the game and found it pretty mundane actually. You have a fixed routine that you carry out and there's not much variation to the gameplay. While the additions are interesting, you'd have to go through the same routine every time to get them.

                                Well, you could also argue that the fact that the game is as straightforward and simple as it is, is in fact a plus - I found this game to be a great help when it comes to relieving stress and tension (especially in Endless shift where you just get lost in the chaos).

                                Altogether, this game is a must-buy if you're looking for a simple game to lose yourself in.


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