Wednesday, 24 September 2014

[Food]: The Magnum Pleasure Store, Karachi

A pleasure store - don't you just love the sound of that? One where you can indulge in all your fantasies without fear or guilt. But hold that thought, I'm talking of halal pleasures - namely rich, decadent, make-your-own Magnum bars! Affordable, legit, delicious pleasure!

The Magnum Pleasure Store in Karachi is only the 14th such store in the world where we can make our own Magnum bars from scratch - well almost from scratch. You start with choosing your Pleasure Maker ie one of the cuties behind the Magnum Pleasure bar to craft your Magnum. I do have a clear favorite Pleasure Maker and I will returning, only to him *sigh*  - anyways, on to the halal pleasures. You get to choose three toppings from a wide variety such as chilli flakes, blue poppy seeds, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, white chocolate, hazelnuts, pop corn and many more. You can be as experimental, colorful and creative as you want. Then you get to choose your Magnum bar - vanilla or chocolate and what you would like to coat it in - namely milk or dark chocolate. My first bar was a vanilla Magnum coated in milk chocolate and covered in chilli flakes, blue poppy seeds and hazelnuts. Don't feat the chilli flakes - they actually work really well with the sweet milk chocolate and gentle vanilla. It's a grown up Magnum bar!

Each bar is priced at Rs 250. A regular Magnum bar costs Rs 80. Is it a fair deal? I think so. It is more than 'just a Magnum' - the Magnum store lets you get creative with your food or rather it lets you play with your food. Personally for me, getting creative with food is always fun. I am a huge fan of cook-your-own-food places - hot pots, grill your own meat -  and the Magnum Pleasure Store lets me make my own ice-cream.

Although the store and the brand itself seems to be aimed at a hip, yuppie crowd - I can actually see myself talking my nephews and nieces (between the ages to 2 and 10) there quite often. The colors and the creative process involved is sure to be enjoyed by the kids and the parents can chill out on the comfy sofas around the store. However, the store does need more kid friendly seating.

Should you go to the Magnum Pleasure Store? Yes. Will I be going back? Most definitely - with the kids, my sisters and girl friends. What else would I like to see there? More experimental toppings, limited edition Magnum bar flavors, chocolate drinks, more seating and perhaps even a photo booth. Team Magnum... please consider...

Oh and here's my second bar... hazelnuts, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips on a chocolate bar covered in milk chocolate.

Warning: You will have to skip a meal for this Magnum indulgence.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

[Tech]: The Stylish Lenovo S860 Smartphone

Nope, I did not get a new Lenovo laptop. But what I did get to review this weekend is the stylish new Lenovo smartphone - S860. I'm missing holding it already but *sigh* all good things must come to an end.

Lenovo launched a series of smartphones for all budgets last week in Karachi - the A series starting off with under Rs 10,000 and the S series that went up to Rs 36,500. But the company did not disclose the price of  the creme de la creme of the phones at the launch - theVibe Z2 Pro.

So here's how my weekend with the S860 went:

The Basics: 

5.3 inch screen, HD
Quadcore processor and 2GB RAM
Talk time of 43 hours on a 2G connection. (43 HOURS!!)
8 megapixel rear camera, 1.6 megapixel front camera
Dual Sim
Rs 36,500

Love It!

I love the big screen. Everything is clear and in my face. The phone is quick too and navigation is simple - and by simple I mean even my Dad could use it. It has interesting feature that let's you answer a call by simply raising your phone to your ear. The 'pocket' feature is also useful - the phone rings louder when in your pocket (or purse). And if your bag is as big and black as mine then this makes it much easier to find your phone. The ginormous battery lets you charge other devices from your phone. Is it a phone? Is it a power bank? It's the Lenovo S860!
The phone is also equipped with a series of Lenovo-only apps which let's you share and back up information across other Lenovo devices without needing an internet connection.

Not Too Sure...

For such a great looking and stylish phone, I would have preferred a better camera. Perhaps the phone is not for the average 'selfie' crowd - it's more for the professional who works on their phone and on the go with the extensive travelling kinda lifestyle or the hardcore gamer. ( I did appreciate the pre-loaded Green Farm 3 game). The phone is also a bit heavy.
It also has a non removable battery which makes me nervous.

The Verdict

Besides the fact that I cannot afford this phone, I really do think it is for a different kind of lifestyle. It is for those who are always on the go and use their phone A LOT and by a lot I don't mean 'always on Twitter'. It is for those who use their phone for work and entertainment (movies, games etc). Would I buy it? I don't think. I need another 5 years into my career before I will need such a long lasting and sturdy phone.