Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Behind 50

Behind 50: Food & Ambience
The name of the place had floated in and out of many a conversations so I decided to give it a try (twice since then actually). A quaint little place that I heard used to be a bicycle repair shop back in the days, Behind 50 turned out to be  quite a cozy spot with old school decors and memorabilia that attracts quite a crowd. We were lucky to be one of the first few customers and as the evening made way for a cool night, the place was quickly filled up with almost every seat taken.

Part of the walls were pasted with photographs of ordinary lives in Penang taken by local photogs. These were simply framed in black wooden frames which gave the whole place a kind of nostalgic feel. Other walls and empty spaces were knick-knacks from the olden days; an old bicycle here, an old typewriter there. There's even a classic LP record player with, not surprising, a Whitney Houston LP cover fronting the stack of records. Then there's the collection of old time matchboxes with beautiful poster girls, and toy figurines that most 80s babies would probably recognize. The ceiling was also an interesting sight; wooden planks with cane baskets lying on top. Oh, and the light bulbs. I have to mention the light bulbs. Ordinary incandescent bulbs but they are surrounded by silver teaspoons, giving them a kind of antique-ish look. Fits the place real nicely ☺

The menu came in these old classic story books with pages inserted.. a pretty novel idea I must say. There are also specials of the day on the blackboard made up of western poultry dishes. There's also the usual snacks, soup, pasta, and drinks. However, they seem to be always out of coffee beans for the "Behind 50 Coffee"..yup, for both the times we were there. Time to increase their stock intake perhaps *winks

Behind 50: Menu & Knick-knacks
I had the mushroom soup [why am I not surprise?] and I like it. Behind 50 makes it to the MY list of good mushroom soup places to go! The soup is filled with tiny pieces of chopped mushrooms - not too tiny that you can't even taste it - that made every spoonful a delight. Really, I would go there again just for that.

Next came the Siam Lobak (fried bean curd skin roll stuffed with minced chicken) that the waitress recommended to us. Crispy and not bad. The main course of Hawaiian chicken (grilled chicken with pineapple-based sauce, and baked potato, mixed vege as sides) was ok as well.

Drinks were chocolate milkshake and hot honey lemon for each visit respectively. You can never go wrong with honey lemon I guess but I had had better tasting milkshakes. So no more milkshakes for me at Behind 50.

Overall, Behind 50 is worth going back to. Located at the end of Muntri Street where Muntri meets Love Lane, it's almost peaceful sitting there and watching the occasional car passes by, reminiscing the good old carefree childhood days gone by while sipping on hot honey lemon drinks and snacking on delicious mushroom soups and Siam Lobaks... (plus it's neither warm nor stuffy in here with strategically placed ceiling fans and air curtains).

P/S: The name Behind 50 comes from the place being situated behind a pre-war house with a number 50 in its address.

Behind 50
Muntri Street, 
10200 George Town

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

iPhone: Siege Hero

I've been pretty occupied lately that this blog had practically gone into hibernation hence I think it's time to do something about it - right on the last night of a long festive weekend...

In truth, I am kinda in the iPhone games mood and had been checking out the top free games on App Store. Most are still in their many stages of completion - halfway here, a quarter there - but I actually completed playing the game that at the beginning I thought I would most unlikely be hooked, in just 2 days.

Siege Hero: The Cover
(click image to enlarge)
At the first glance, most would say Siege Hero is just probably a rip-off of Angry Birds. Indeed the concept is similar; throwing weapons at a fortress of soldiers (or green pigs in AB's case) to bring them down, scoring more points the less tries needed. However, while I never did warm up to AB - of which I still don't - it took me no time to get all determine to finish Siege Hero.

Somehow the little cute, evil ninjas/soldiers/vikings/red indians/cannibals (depending on which level you are at) standing there on the fortresses, wickedly inviting you to take them down work so well. And to hear their sinister chuckling-s when you fail to do so just fires you up to try harder and harder and harder still, not stopping until the blocks of woods/bricks/steels are in ruins. [Yup, that was how "obsessed" I got..]

Siege Hero: The Storylines
(click image to enlarge)
The game consists of 3 major levels, cleverly called 'Ages'; the Fortress Age, the Age of Discovery, and the Age of Pirates. Each 'Age' is made up of 3 storylines with 21 stages each i.e 63 stages/Age i.e 189 scenes and hours and hours of gameplay. The storylines are similar and differs only in the settings. They start with a prologue of evil conquerors closing in on peaceful dwellers (portrayed as adorable girls) and take them as hostages. The backgrounds are nicely drawn (there's day/night, sun/rain/snow, etc) and the characters all cutesy - even the bad minions.

As you play on, new weapons are introduced. You start with the basic rock throwing and then you have a 3-rocks-in-one-go, bomb, fire jar, oil barrel, and a grappling hook to pull things apart. What you don't have however, is a choice. You don't get to choose which weapon to use, no sir, you don't. Instead, they are given to you in arranged sequences. That is where the game gets interesting. Siege Hero is not a throw-and-hope-you-hit game, it actually requires you to strategize, however little it may be, and in some cases making use of whatever physics knowledge you may possess. The lineup could be a hook, rock, fire but if you don't target them at the correct points, the fortress ain't gonna come tumbling down, and "Siege Failed" is all that awaits. If you are lucky, you get 4 rocks in some stages but others might only have 2 fires in store for you. So use your weapons wisely....

Siege Hero: The Gameplays
(click image to enlarge)
And if you think that is all, these game developers bring the game up another notch. They place the captives within the fortresses and being the hero that you are, you are suppose to ensure that your hits do not kill them or *poof you'll be seeing angel wings. But well, I have to admit, sometimes collateral damage happens *whistles

Overall, Siege Hero is an addictive, fun game that works your brains at the same time. And frankly, I was frustrated at times when I was stuck at some crazily difficult stage and just couldn't proceed. But the euphoria of seeing the walls coming down when you got it all right......

P/S: There is an Age of Cowboy in the making and let's hope to see that out soon *fingers crossed

My Rating: