Jul 14, 2018

6 Tamarind Square And The 24-Hour Book Store

Tamarind Square is this new beautifully designed office and shopping building in Cyberjaya. It is well planned - I say this because it's built with good air flow and space naturally lit by sun rays. The ambiance is all vibes of inner peace and joy.

In this wondrous pleasing to the eye maze of a building is a 24-hr book store run by BookXcess, the first of its kind in Malaysia and a start of something that should have been done years ago. I mean, how much late night clubbing can a person do in their young life and how many mamaks can one frequent before boredom sets in?

BookXcess, Tamarind Square

I wish we had a 24-hr book store in my younger days - it would have been another place to hang out with friends and my parents would have been thrilled that it wasn't in smoky dance joints. We will, we will, rock you!

"Girl, where are you going at 11pm? "

"Book store la, Ma. Be back after I see the sunrise. Yes, yes, I brought my pepper spray. "

My parents are the great kind. We were encouraged to be independent from a young age and we were responsible for the consequences of our actions. They let us fall and pick ourselves up. We were team 'buy your own house, get your own car, pay your own bills, fund your own education degree' from the moment we hit 21. I have strayed off topic. Lol.

BookXcess Open 24-Hours

Anyway, to get to the book store, drive up the open road beside the building which leads to the uncovered parking lot. I don't recommend the indoor one. The place is still very much under construction. Ground floor parking was acceptable, two floors up was just eerie and dusty. This was the state it was in during my visit a month back.

Tamarind Square Open Carpark

Here's a look at the rest of Tamarind Square. The shoplots on the upper floor are two-storey units with a rooftop garden. It makes a very nice dining spot. Imagine having a drink al fresco with an old friend under a starlit sky in a setting of lush greenery. I was just thinking that I wouldn't mind this design for an apartment building.

Tamarind Square - Up, Down, In, Out

Upper Floor

One side of the walkway are shop units, the other side had balconies overlooking the garden. I'm not sure if this space is available for rent but I can imagine transforming the area into an open concept meeting room. No more dreary office walls, an unconventional business discussion outside, the scenery an encouragement for fresh ideas. Yeah, I'd like that - white IKEA chairs and a table large enough for coffee, cakes and contracts.

Let's Buy A Unit

This is the view below. Those glass chambers surrounded by metal netting would make neat kopitiams. I noticed a Kedai Dobi taking up one awesome unit.

Tamarind Square Is All About Keeping It Green

Tamarind Square Shoplots

Excited to come here? For now, it only makes sense if you live nearby. There are barely any shops open.

Temporarily A World Cup Event Space

View From The Entrance of Book Xcess

Tamarind Square
Address: Persiaran Multimedia, Cyber 11, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Jul 10, 2018

12 Sundays Are For Food, Friends And Film

Food and Friends
We popped by a friend's house to drop off some art supplies for her kids - watercolour, colour pens, pencils, paintbrushes and rulers. They were my husband's, when he used to do interior design drawings manually. It's all computerised now so it makes sense to give it away.

Anyway, she made us these lovely Kuih Makmur. It's not easy to make this kuih as it can be very dry on the throat if not done properly. Well, Del did it perfectly and it was so addictive that we were stuffing ourselves on the roadside - out of the car since it was messy to eat.

Kuih Makmur

Whilst cruising around Bandar Kinrara to check out the property development progress in the area, we chanced upon a few pigeons loitering around a wide grassy divider in a quiet corner of the neighbourhood. Since we had some bird seeds with us, we parked the car, deciding to spend a little time feeding the pigeons. It was funny.

Pigeons

"Hmm, why are these humans invading our territory? " That was what I was sensing off our feathery buddies. As we threw several handful of seeds towards them, they continued watching our movements cautiously. One brave bird decided to check the 'situation' out. It took a bite and then another - soon all the pigeons flocked to the spot and it was party time!




We bought these cakes for some late-night snacking since we had our meal early.

Cakes From Berry's Cake House

I had dry pan mee for dinner. Eggs are always a welcome addition.

Dry Pan Mee

Film
 
Ant-Man and The Wasp was highly entertaining. The action scenes were exciting and well choreographed, there was good flow of the story and I love, love the bits of humour thrown in. We stayed until the very end to watch the post credits too. Worth the wait? Yes and no.



There you go, another fun-filled Sunday for us. How was your weekend?

Jul 8, 2018

13 Ipoh : Lost World Of Tambun, Theme Park Pt.1

Sunway Lost World of Tambun is divided into several exciting parks with loads of fun things to do. For this reason, a one-night stay wasn't sufficient for us. We did two! Holidays are meant to be relaxing, right? We planned it in such a way that Day One would be spent exploring Kampar until we could check into the hotel. Then it was sightseeing nearby areas. Day Two involved a whole day and night at the theme park.

Lost World Hotel guests receive discount vouchers to the day theme park and free entrance to the night one. They also offer amazing deals throughout the year - keep a lookout for that on their social media pages! Before you go buying tickets in advance, make sure you've done your research. For entrance and rental prices, click here.

Sunway Lost World Of Tambun, Ipoh

It takes at least a whole day to experience the best the park has to offer so starting the fun as soon as it opens is the smartest way to go about it. That's 10am or 11am, by the way. The rules of the park are simple - No outside food allowed. Bring proper swim wear, or not (Malaysia mahh). Once you go in, you don't leave until you're done because re-entry means purchasing another ticket.

After a full buffet breakfast, we made our way to the theme park carrying a backpack of slippers, swimming essentials and anything we thought was important to protect us from the sun. Our bags were checked for food upon entry. All clear!

The first thing we did was get a group photo for memories. The park assistant helped us snap one on our camera for free. He also snapped one of us on his but whether we purchased that at the end of the day was up to us completely - no pressure, no pressure.

The next thing we did was head for the amusement rides as there was no queue yet. We hopped on this pirate ship that swings back and forth, 180 degrees. When you get on this one, you go, "WooooOoo" as it swooshes down.

Stormrider Pirate Ship

This is a mini roller coaster, Perak's first. It's pretty cool and goes through a small tunnel. Not very scary but it is fun to scream so we let out a mega, "AaahhHHHh!!!". I must tell you that we're only brave and showy with the little rides. Anything more extreme and you'll find tears running down our faces and us walking in a zigzag manner after the ride. Lol, the shame.

Perak's First Roller Coaster

Then, there's the carnival games where you can win soft toys and the heart of your girlfriend. Our men came back empty handed. My aunt and I were determined to beat the system.

"This one guarantee can win? " No harm asking, right?

"Oh, yes! "  Confirmed the booth assistant to my surprise, but my aunt wasn't convinced and opted for throwing balls into a bin which looked easy seeing how close it was to us. We lost at first throw and that was that. It was back to the guarantee-win stall after that, a matter of scooping up ducks and collecting enough points for a prize! In short and poor us, we beat the system at a price. You know the saying, "Don't ask, don't know".

The guys? They were impressed alright. Had they known ...

Carnival Games At Lost World Of Tambun

Argh! We didn't have time for a ride on the Adventure Express.

The Adventure Express

There were so many places to explore from the Tin Valley to the Petting Zoo. Our last stop was the water park for a swim before it closes for the next day.

Lost World Water Park

Kids Explorabay

As you can see, there is no way I can fit everything into one post so I am going with several. Be back with Part 2 soon.

Sunway Lost World Of Tambun
Address: 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway, Sunway City, 31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Telephone: +6 05-540 8888
Closed every Tuesday, except on Malaysian school and public holidays.


Jul 3, 2018

18 Sundays Are For All Sorts Of Things

Watch a Movie
"Let's go watch Incredibles 2? " Hubs said. I responded with, "What. No. How about Animal World? It's about a crazy clown."

Animal World

To tell you the truth, I have big love for Asian movies like Rurouni Kenshin, Death Note (2006), Golden Knight Garo (not ashamed to say that I purchased the DVD collection, lol!), The Host .. I am just itching to watch Terra Formars to my husband's dismay. I have however missed a lot of good films, unfortunately or fortunately depending who you ask, because I don't make time for the TV as often as many people.

Anyway, Animal World  is a Chinese movie about gambling based on the popular Japanese manga Kaiji. I loved the special effects, there was great acting and chemistry between the cast and the plot was good. The only thing that almost made me snore was the draggy explanations and gambling card pop-ups that seemed to take up more screen time than necessary. The film is nothing about a crazy clown, by the way - well, the trailer ...



Good thing I had Durian popcorn to make me feel better. Anyway, this is still a nice film to watch because it's all about the ugly side of human nature.

Delicious Durian Popcorn

Only six of us in this hall.

mmCinplexes, e-Curve

Free Food
Wendy's Malaysia gave out free burgers for a guessing game. I scored one for myself and collected it at their branch in IPC mall. Okayyy, I told myself - Be grateful now, give thanks.

Wendy's Malaysia - Free Burger

Shopping

A floor below Wendy's outlet, was an open stall selling tableware. Lots of fascinating designs. I am easily swayed by all things pretty. Hubs was swayed too - by a charming salesman who convinced him that he needed these cute Chinese teacups, the man who barely drinks tea at home.

IPC Shopping Mall

The items were priced reasonably ranging from RM2 to RM25, mostly.

Microwave and Oven Friendly Tableware

According to the shop assistant, they are also selling these items in a more permanent corner at Midvalley Megamall on the 3rd floor. It's inside a budget clothes shop right beside Celebrity Fitness.

We ended the day with a bit of marketing and dinner at Kedai Kopi Mee Bon, a dim sum outlet in Jalan Ipoh.

Jun 30, 2018

15 Ipoh : Lost World Hotel

Out of Kampar and into the Lost World of Tambun. We purchased a two-night stay at Matta Fair promotional rates. It was around RM300 per night for an Executive Suite at Lost World Hotel , with extra bed inclusive of buffet breakfast for three and entrance to the hotsprings night park.

The four-storey hotel faces the exciting Lost World of Tambun theme park with an incredible view of lush ancient limestone hills in the background. Eight of us arrived in the afternoon to wide smiles and heartwarming welcome. As soon as we parked our car, the concierge rolled the luggage carrier over. The hospitality is amazing and check in was quick!

This is the lobby, decorated with out-of-this-world blue circular sofas. I was so attracted to the UFO-styled sofas that I started googling for where to buy this. When I began envisioning how it would fit into our small apartment, it hit me that, "Oi! Comfy meh? ". I mean what was I going to do with it - curl myself around the thing to watch TV? Lol.

Lost World Hotel Check-In Counter

Lost World Hotel's Cute UFO Sofas

We were most excited to see the spaciousness of the room. It was like walking into an apartment. Two toilets, two TVs, a huge living room with a proper fridge and a kitchen sink. Basic amenities like a hairdryer, ironing board, electric kettle, safe, it's all there. What more could we ask for.

Living Room of Executive Suite

A Proper Fridge and Kitchen Sink


The Love Bed

Two TVs? No Way!

Another Angle Of The Room

Dressing Area Next To The Bathroom

Shower Enclosure

Pictured below is the Classical Room which my aunt and cousin stayed in. Compact sized, with basic amenities included plus a minibar. No proper fridge or kitchen sink but as this was a connecting room to our executive suite, my aunt didn't miss out on a thing!


Lost World Hotel, Classical Room

FOOD

The nearest and only eatery I could see, housed within the same building of the hotel, is Papparich. Good thing we brought our own food and snacks because we're complete greedy pigs during holidays. It made for that in between meal before heading to the Night Park because all that exploring the animal kingdom, tin valley, getting our thrills on the roller coaster and swimming tired us out!

We had initially made plans for dinner in town but we each carried that face that said please-let-no-one-insist-on-it. It would cut into our rest time and since we already had an amazing whole day at the park, we were amped up for the night one too - not willing to miss the fire show! But if you insist on going out for dinner, there are places just a minute drive away.

Anyway, on to the buffet breakfast which is located across the road near the entrance of the theme park. It carries both western and asian food. We made sure to eat our fill since there was a 'no outside food allowed' rule in the theme park. Although there are plenty of food stalls inside, you never know if there's a queue that could ruin your mood and if it would burst your travel budget.

The Buffet Breakfast at Lost World Hotel, Ipoh

One last thing, Giant Supermarket is a short distance away, about 1km or more, depending which route you take. FYI, the beer counter closes at 9PM.

That's that on my stay at Lost World Hotel. Wait 'til you read about the fun stuff we did!

Lost World Hotel

Address: 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway, Sunway City, 31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone: +6 05-540 8888

Jun 26, 2018

16 Kampar : Chicken Biscuits And Other Stuff

I remember this biscuit very well from my childhood. It was the most delicious thing my teeth sank into. Light, crispy, addictive stuff. There is no way I'd leave Kampar without buying a few packets of 'Chicken Biscuits' home. I never hunted for these cookies in KL although there's a high possibility that it is available here - if you ask me, the feeling's just not the same. That's like buying a fridge magnet of Melaka in Pasar Seni, Kuala Lumpur but never actually visiting the place.

Anyway, after a satisfying meal of chicken curry bread at Yau Kee, we drove to CB Red Label to hunt for chicken biscuits and other local snacks.The shop was little more that a minute away. We parked at the side of the building.

The friendly shopkeeper who invited us in mentioned that they'd been around for 40years.

Why this is called 'chicken biscuit' when it contains no chicken meat remains a mystery to me. It's made with red fermented bean curd (nam yue). We purchased a few varieties - soft chicken biscuits, crunchy chicken biscuits and light & crispy chicken biscuits. Light and crispy, being my favourite, the crunchy ones were a pain to chew into and the soft one was perfect for my old dad.

CB Kampar Chicken Biscuits

CB Kampar Chicken Biscuits - Crunchy One On Top.

See? No Chicken!

We also picked up two bottles of Kampar's famous Se Woh spicy chilli sauce. "Mui yee, buy-lah. Go. Buy. Don't know when we'll be back here again." That's how it ended up in our shopping basket. This chilli sauce is the perfect thing for chicken rice and if you want a dipping sauce with oomph!

Strawberry Heong Peah
? This biscuit is not made in Kampar but I found it hard to resist because it was in a flavour I had never tried. Was it yummy? Okay-lah. The original maltose flavour remains my top pick.

Se Woh Chilli, Heong Peah (Strawberry and Charcoal), The Shop Address

So there you go, these were the stuff we bought with plans to gobble some up during our vacation in Tambun Lost World. Nothing of the sort happened since I brought many little packets of nuts to snack on, instant noodles and chips. There's no chance of your tummy ever going 'kruuUuk, kruuk' if you travel with me. Lol.

Below is the address of their branch in Gopeng. According to the shopkeeper, this one's bigger and is a good rest area for travelers and tourists.

CB Red Label, Gopeng

Jun 24, 2018

14 GE14 : Election Rush

Although more than a month has passed since Malaysia's 14th General election, the day is still fresh in my mind. Hubs and I woke up early and was at the polling centre by 7.30am. There were tents along the road with people passing out tissue to voters.

It was a cheerful occasion. We made top 10 in the queue. I walked into the classroom and everyone was so smiley. Yup, ours was in a school. "Good morning!" we greeted one another. I stood back as my name and IC was read. My fingers were checked for nail polish. Moving on to the next person, I dipped my finger into the indelible ink, tissuing it dry moments after. Then, I was handed a slip of ballot paper. I marked it in secrecy behind a booth, folded it and put it into the box in the middle of the room. It was over in minutes.

Malaysia GE14 Queue

I had updated my address directly at the SPR office in Kepong over a decade ago so I needn't fly back to my hometown to vote. If I hadn't, I'd be one of those rushing to purchase flight tickets home, keeping my fingers crossed that it'd be cheap and there'd be seats available. Could have easily been a boo-hoo sob-sob situation for me in many ways.

Anyway, I'm glad I did as the election scene in Kuala Lumpur is pretty exciting. There were many eateries offering free breakfast and drinks to voters. Some gave discounts. There are even shops offering free services for the day. So many incentives to do our duty but really, wanting a better Malaysia should be motivation enough.

We were blessed with a free packet of nasi lemak and a cup of teh tarik when we popped into Plan B, Publika for breakfast. Not really expecting anything, we had already ordered bagel and eggs. So it was a pleasant surprise when they placed it on our table seeing that we had already voted - our inked finger being the proof.

Plan B - Nasi Lemak for GE14

Plan B - Bagel and Eggs

That night, we stayed up late to catch the results. We weren't alone. Friends and family whatsapped my phone with continuous updates but then it slowed to almost nothing all of a sudden. The results stopped coming in and it frustrated many Malaysians - we knew that something not bersih  was going on!

It was a historical moment for us as news spread that the opposition had pulled off a shocking election win.

Many were glued to the TV the next day awaiting the swearing in of a new Prime Minister, with as many discussing how to remove the indelible ink from their finger online. The ink started out light purple for us and was almost a dark dirty brown by the time we reached home. My friend Kathy had the answer - clorox.

Stained Index Finger - Indelible Ink GE14

Patriotism demands the ability to feel shame as much as to feel pride.
We should be proud of our country when we have done something to be proud of,
when we have lived up to our own standards.
But the flip side of genuine pride is being able to recognize when we have fallen short,
and to hold ourselves to account.
~ Anne-Marie Slaughter

Jun 20, 2018

16 Kampar : Yau Kee Restaurant's Chicken Curry Bread

Some call it 'Golden Pillow Bread', some call it 'Jumbo Curry Bun'. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, a chicken curry bun by any other name would taste as delicious.

Continuing from my previous post on Kampar, where we quenched our thirst on a refreshing tall iced drink - The six of us decided on light lunch after that huge drink. Just a short distance away, is Yau Kee Restaurant, an eatery famous for their curry chicken buns. My cousin mentioned that they sell mutton curry buns too. I would have loved trying that one but there's only so much that my tummy can fit in. Haha!

Surprisingly, jumbo chicken curry buns are a thing in Kampar. Googling for food to try here, I found four places selling it. Besides Yau Kee, there's Kam Ling Restaurant, Jia Kampar and CB Kampar.

Yau Kee Restaurant, Kampar - Chicken Curry Bread

We sat in the air-con area and ordered one to try along with other dishes. Food was served quickly. We counted our blessings that we had stepped in here just before 12PM. A couple of buses stopped in front and soon the restaurant was filled with tourists!

Chicken Curry Bread For The Tourists!

The fried mantou and braised pork belly (pictured below) was pretty delicious but no match for the large curry bread, excitement-wise.

Yau Kee Restaurant, Kampar

Just before serving, the top of the bread is brushed with melted butter. The waitress alerted us to get our cameras ready if we were keen to snap pics of the bread being cut open, which we were. Lol, 'tourist' - I point at myself.

Chicken Curry Bread
Yau Kee Restaurant, Kampar

We dug in excitedly, tearing the bread off the sides and dipped it into the curry. The texture, taste and aroma is reminiscent of bread made in the olden days. It was so satisfying to eat. The chicken curry is a delicious match! 

After that yummy lunch, we made our way to CB Kampar, a local snack shop located just a street away. But this is a story for another day, another blog post ;)
 
Restoran Yau Kee

Address: 55 & 57, Jalan Idris, Kampung Masjid, 31900 Kampar, Negeri Perak, Malaysia.
Hours: Closes 10PM
Telephone: +6 05 - 465 1738

 

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