Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Auto & Opinions: Best Tesla Model S-Friendly Car Park Map For Hong Kong

My map marking both good and bad car parks
Image from Locky's English Playground
Can't say I'm struggling with time, but I have place my research projects and assignments higher on my priority list than last semester, which is why I'm finding it difficult to keep up with 3 posts a week these days, but if there is anything interesting enough, I will always share it here.

This is one of the projects I have been working on since August 2014, called Best Model S-friendly Car Park Map. At that time, I was not yet a frequent driver, so I did not frequently visit car parks in Hong Kong. Due to the size of the Tesla Model S, its width in particular, and the smallness of parking spaces and entrances for most car parks in Hong Kong, I reckon newbies like me will need a little help in choosing the best car park around Hong Kong. Turns out, other Model S owners have had the same concern and my map has helped quite a number of people in finding the safest parking spot at unfamiliar districts.


Car parks are separated into 3 categories, charging Model S-friendly car parks (consists of red, blue and light green stars), non-charging Model S-friendly car parks (consists of purple circles), and blacklisted Model S-unfriendly car parks (consists of black diamonds).

Legends:

Red Star: Superchargers and Model S-friendly
Blue Star: 40A or 32A chargers and Model S-friendly
Light Green Star: 13A chargers and Model S-friendly
Purple Circle: Model S-friendly
Black Diamonds: Blacklisted for various reasons

Whether the car parks are considered Model S-friendly or unfriendly depends on the comments provided by fellow owners who have experience in that particular car parks, or internet sources such as YouTube and newspapers.

Image from Locky's English Playground

Say for example the Olympian City 1 car park, it has been given a light green star and thus it has a 13A charger available, by clicking on the star, additional information will be displayed, including YouTube videos of drivers entering and exiting the car parks, condition of the charging spots, discounts related to the car park, spending amount to enjoy free parking, as well as the official website of the car park.

Basically, it provides a quick glance of a particular car park and its key information at your finger tips.

Since this project is on-going, it will only get better and better with the increasing amount of sharing from fellow owners. It is recommended that you too share your comments with me and share this map with friends who owns big cars. All rights reserved though, particularly the concept of this map.




Resources:
Best Tesla Model S-Friendly Car Park Map For Hong Kong @Google My Maps
http://goo.gl/zT52ul

Monday, 16 February 2015

Cooking: How To Cook A Piece of Perfect Steak And Lamp Chop

Brilliantly well-cooked medium lamp chop
Image from Locky's English Playground
This may be a little late for Valentine's day, but it is never too late for to learn to cook a great meal for your love ones. Two years ago, I wrote Cooking: How To Cook Steaks with Sticky Wok and Clean Easily, I explained one method of cooking steaks, today I have another way to cook it, except that this one almost guarantee the perfect piece every single time! 

Meatloaf in plastic bag
Image from Locky's English Playground
I actually learned this method from watching one program on TVB Pearl of which its name I failed to remember. The question here is how to make sure the inner layer is cooked just right without burning the outer layer too much!

The basic principle behind this method is the use of a cooking bag.

Recycling a cooking bag
Image from Locky's English Playground
I recycled a cooking bag originally for Oden, placed the meatloaf inside, sealed it and put it into boiling water for about 5 minutes. The duration really depends on the thickness of the meat and the gradation of cooking preferred. For me, I prefer medium to medium well.

Steak ready for searing
Image from Locky's English Playground
After the cooking bag step, it is simply back to searing and browning.

Flip every 20 secs
Image from Locky's English Playground
The suggested browning time is one flip every 20 seconds.

After 1 flip
Image from Locky's English Playground
Since the meat has already been cooked to medium in the inner layer, browning the outer will seem quicker than usual.

After 6 flips or so
Image from Locky's English Playground
But as long as you keep an eye on it, your steak will be juicily prepared in no time!

Medium steak
Image from Locky's English Playground
Just look at the juice! Don't you just want to buy a piece and try out this method tonight?

Lamb chops
Image from Locky's English Playground
The same method works on lamb chops as well!

Crispy outer layer
Image from Locky's English Playground
Crispy outer, juicy inner!

Juicy medium lamb chop within
Image from Locky's English Playground
After one success, you will not want to try any other methods again because it is just so hard to not getting a piece of meat perfectly cooked with this!

Try it and leave a comment for me after your success!


Resources:

http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2012/08/cooking-how-to-cook-steaks-with-stick.html

Temperature (Meat) @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_(meat)


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Food & Opinion: Prime Taste Singapore Laksa feat. Chilli Crab La Mian

Instant Laksa!!
Image from Locky's English Playground
I have a friend who is a big fan of laksa, so much that he will carry bags of laksa soup and noodles separately from Singapore to be shared and served in Hong Kong. Now there is a solution, cheap(er) without a sacrificing quality.

Prima Taste series!!!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Prima Taste instant laksa from Singapore packs some rare excellence you find in instant noodles and in my humble opinions beats restaurants in many sense. First, it just costs $20-ish, as compared to $50-ish from Singaporean restaurants in Hong Kong.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Second, it is convenient, as you can take them anywhere you want.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Third, it is clean and well-packaged.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Instructions are simple and clear, everyone can cook a decent bowl of laksa easily.

Shrimp paste
Image from Locky's English Playground
It comes with a packet of rich-flavoured, generous portion of shrimp paste,

Coconut powder
Image from Locky's English Playground
and lots of coconut powder adding that tropical punch to it.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Here you can see all the ingredients,
Image from Locky's English Playground
but for me, what matters most is surely the taste and texture of the noodles.

Boiling noodles in soup
Image from Locky's English Playground
The cooking is as simple as adding 500ml of water to all the soup base and then throw in the noodles to cook for 7 minutes,

Clams and shrimps added
Image from Locky's English Playground
Then in the last minute, throw in your choice of meat or vegetables. I love bean products but unfortunately I couldn't find any on the day of cooking.

Uniqueness in every bowl!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Even leaving the noodles for 30 minutes after cooking, the noodles still remain as the most chewy and real laksa-like, which is quite remarkable as this is the kind of quality you might not even find in restaurants. And the soup! Oh!! The soup!!!! Tastes unbelievably original than anything I have tried! And it just tastes better as you add more ingredients in the process of cooking.

Image from Locky's English Playground

On the other hand, there are several more choices from Prime Taste apart from Laksa, say this Chilli Crab La Mian,

Chilli crab paste
Image from Locky's English Playground
The cooking procedures are kind of similar to those of the laksa,

Image from Locky's English Playground
except that this time round you don't cook noodles in soup, you add sauce after the noodles have been cooked.

Slightly red noodles
Image from Locky's English Playground
Maybe it was just me, but it seems that the noodles didn't turn out to be as colourful as that on the packet,

Added beef beside it
Image from Locky's English Playground
and for me, it wasn't spicy enough. But hey, my level of tolerance for spiciness is really high. My wife cannot stand even a little bit of this, so...

Overall, I still think the Laksa is the best bargain, and if you are a laksa fan, you have got to try this!

Resources:
Prime Taste Official Website.
www.primetaste.com

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Living: New Goodway Garment Steamer

Goodway's latest garment steamer
Image from Locky's English Playground

Turns out that no only was the previous garment steamer recommended by the Consumer Council was no good after 2 years. Guess it was good in practicality but not in durability. With leakage of water and electricity, it was time to find a decent successor.

Turns out, I have discovered a pretty good deal!

It comes with a stand
Image from Locky's English Playground
Goodway is definitely a Made-in-Hong Kong brand that has captured many many mid-aged housewives' fans, and frankly speaking, I have never thought about getting a Goodway ever in my life, but this G-SQ1 has proven me wrong.

Soft brushes
Image from Locky's English Playground
For like HK$500, it comes with the steamer, a stand, two soft brushes, and two extra soft brushes in another box.

Brush detached from iron
Image from Locky's English Playground
Oh, forgot to mention that this garment steamer is in fact an iron in disguise, but this iron doesn't flatten creases on cotton, because it maxes at low-temp for silk.

So, how well does it work?


Have you got a good garment steamer? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.


Vocabulary:
crease -- (c)[N] a line on cloth or paper where it has been folded or crushed



Resources:
Living: How To Clean Your Garment Steamer? @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2014/04/living-how-to-clean-your-garment-steamer.html

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english-chinese-traditional/crease_1


Friday, 30 January 2015

Food & Dining: Best Rice Congee in Quarry Bay



Not just any rice congee
Image from Locky's English Playground
I was never a congee person, whether that has anything to do with my childhood memory horror is something I cannot confirm, but this congee shop in Quarry Bay has brought a kind of gluttony I had never experienced before.

Dine in queue and takeout queue
Image from Locky's English Playground
It is not usual to see queues outside a congee shop, this is one rare exception.

Menus on the wall
Image from Locky's English Playground
 Menus are all on the wall, no English though, so you have to memorise those Cantonese food names of your choice.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Price-wise, it is not the cheapest but more tha fair for what you will be getting.

Panoramic view outside the shop
Image from Locky's English Playground

5 orders
Image from Locky's English Playground
So what have I got? For this occasion, I bought pig's blood congee and deep-fried youtiao rice roll for my wife, and beef congee, fried noodles and plain rice rolls for myself.

Beef congee and pig's blood congee
Image from Locky's English Playground
Just like all other types of food, there are dozens of ways to cook just one. This congee is knowing as the "raw-cooked" type, meaning that the congee is cooked from rice form to its congee form entirely on flame, not by electric stove and definitely not rice cooker.

Well, it is not as green and it is not so good in terms of carbon emission, but the texture -- that perfect, inseparable blend of molten rice and water, together with the ingredients added to the boiling only after you place the order, is unbeatable on a cold winter day.

Fried soy sauce noodles
Image from Locky's English Playground
The fried noodles with bean sprouts was done so well that there is not one bit of burnt on one noodle, as opposed to most others.

Zaa loeng -- Youtiao rice rolls
Image from Locky's English Playground
炸兩 (Cantonese: Zaa3 Loeng5), literally meaning "Fried Twice", aka Youtiao rice rolls, are oh-so-tremendous!! You get crispiness of the Youtiao, you get that bread-like softness in the middle, and you get that elasticity of the rice roll that bonds so well to it's inner crunch. It is served with soy sauce, sweet sauce and chili sauce but in my humble opinion, you can have it without all those and still get that smile of satisfaction.

Plain rice rolls
Image from Locky's English Playground
Last but not least, the plain rice rolls, which has basically the same chewiness as the Youtiao rice rolls, but because of their compactness,  you'll find a multi-layered bite in them.

The best part about these two dishes is, they are excellent when hot and still delicious when cold.

Do you me any good other good congee shops? Leave a comment below.



Vocabulary:
gluttony -- (n) [U] disapproving when people eat and drink more than they need to
youtiao -- (n)[C] also known as the Chinese cruller, Chinese oil stick, Chinese doughnut, and fried breadstick,[citation needed] is a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough eaten in China and (by a variety of other names) in other East and Southeast Asian cuisines. Conventionally, youtiao are lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two. Youtiao are normally eaten at breakfast as an accompaniment for rice congee or soy milk.


Resources:
Youtiao @Wikpedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtiao

炸兩 (Cantonese: Zaa3 Loeng5) @Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhaliang

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english-chinese-traditional/gluttony?q=gluttony+

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Auto: HK$400 Dual HD Dash Cam Installation on Tesla Model S & Hands-On Review

Brandless Rearview Mirror Car Recorder
Image from Locky's English Playground
After knowing what has happened to many other Tesla Model S cars on the roads of Hong Kong (and many others cars in fact), I decided it is time to get a dashcam. This one that I found on Taobao has a dual cam option at RMB 313.35 (HK$400, US$51.3), or just RMB 255 for the front cam.

Specification
Image from Locky's English Playground
Specs-wise, there is nothing to complain about, it is simply the same as those branded ones at around HK$3000. You can see that for yourself.

From the side of the box
Image from Locky's English Playground
The question is then, is it really that good? Here I made two videos about the installation and my hands-on review.


Some Model S owners tell me that I can actually wrestle the headliner for a gap underneath it with the help of a tool, but mine seems very toughly glued onto the glass. I am sure some brutality will do the job, but I dare not risk.


There are still certain parts I can improve on this installation, but surely there are parts, say the cable along the small rear seat windows which had to be taped. The tapes themselves are not pretty and I could have gone for a black tape, but black tape usually leaves very sticky residue and 3M Scotch tape seems to be my best option, for now.

Do leave me comments if you have any better suggestions to improve on my installation.


Vocabulary:
wrestle -- (vb) [I or T] to fight with someone (especially as a sport) by holding them and trying to throw them to the ground
brutality -- (n) [C or U] behaviour that is very cruel or violent showing no feelings for others, or an act of this type


Resources:

Tesla Model S Dual HD Dash Cam Installation Part 1 @YouTube
http://youtu.be/gEq1s6ZrfVU

Tesla Model S Dual HD Dash Cam Installation Part 2 @YouTube
http://youtu.be/LOmce2Hg4Ps

正品行车记录仪前后双镜头后视镜一体机高清1080夜视王超广角监控 @Taobao
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z09.2.9.79.u1W90s&id=43052843452&_u=l265su1oa2fb

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english-chinese-traditional/wrestle
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english-chinese-traditional/brutality