Jan 25, 2017

0 A Breezy Brunch At The Red BeanBag

Brisk, bright, windy, blue skies - that sums up the mood for the day. It was a good vibes thing. We got together with the family for late breakfast at The Red Beanbag, a cafe located in upscale Publika. Little did we know how vibrant it would be.

There was a queue, the place was crowded and lively. We waited our turn but barely noticed the time as we chatted and chose what to order from the menu. A cheerful waitress ushered us to a table for six with bench style seating.

" We'd like to order now... " I smiled at her.

" Oh! " She was surprised, but gave us a big grin, pleased with our promptness.

While waiting for the food to arrive, we got down to snapping group photos to treasure the moment. Of course, that was only the beginning of our photo-taking for the day. Below are pictures of the beautiful food we ate that day.

Portobello Mushroom, Poached Eggs, Pancakes - The Red Beanbag RM24

Eggs Benedict On French Toast - The Red BeanBag RM26

Super Awesome Fry-Up - The Red BeanBag RM30

Pan-fried Portobello Mushrooms, Poached Egg, Chorizo, Toast - The Red BeanBag RM24


We talked about a lot of things. One of the topics we discussed was the different experiences people have with food, the eateries and how they are treated from waiter to counter attendants.

Have you met people who are only too pleased to share a ton of their nightmarish experiences  - unsmiling servers, grumpy cashiers, bad food? They would throw it out over Social Media how their plates are chipped or turmeric stained, how the char kueh teow uncle is arrogant, put a low star rating and pass the word to boycott the place...consistently. Well, we've met a couple of people like that.

I don't know if we're just lucky but rarely do 'stuff' happen to us. Perhaps it's because we're generous with our pleases and thank yous. Being nice begets a positive experience? Reminded me of this quote.

A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
~ Dave Barry


And complaints about food are extremely few and far in between if any, more of a case of personal preference. So I can be the most boring person to start a food conversation with. "How's the chicken? " "Yum! " . "How are the tarts? " "Extremely delicious! ". "The cookies? " "Splendid."


Hot Coffee and Hot Chocolate - The Red BeanBag


"Is there anything that's not your favourite..? " My husband asks this a lot. Haha.

Finally, below is a picture of the surroundings and of me and my aunt checking out some of the photos we took.

The Red BeanBag

The Red BeanBag
Address: Block A4 1st Floor A4-1-08, Publika, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone: 03-2633 5030
Facebook: www.facebook.com/theredbeanbag

Jan 17, 2017

18 Restoran Damai Utama : Stewed Pork Knuckles Noodles

We prepare goodies for our friends and family every Chinese New Year. Sometimes it's a box of mandarin oranges for each. Other times, a bag containing auspicious food items such as peanuts and nian gao. This year, I went with large dried mushrooms and nuts for friends, and cider for the family.

We set aside Sunday just to deliver these items, that being the day before. That's how we ended up in Bandar Kinrara for breakfast.

This corner lot kopitiam is bright and breezy, from staff to ambiance. It was clean and new. What attracted me most was the number of stalls selling pork dishes. There was pork noodles, pork chops noodles, pork knuckles noodles and pork ball noodles - yup, I believe I counted four stalls!

I went with stewed pork knuckles with noodles. Pork knuckles is a must-have at our New Year reunion dinner. So, this is kind of my childhood food but without the noodles. Greedy me found it extremely delicious. The meat was tender. The soy sauce flavour was yummy. Thing is, I rarely ever not enjoy my food.

Restoran Damai Utama - Stewed Pork Knuckles with Noodles RM7

Hubs went with a bowl of soupy goodness.

Restoran Damai Utama - Pork Noodle Soup RM6.50

The restaurant, inside and out:

Restoran Damai Utama

Restoran Damai Utama

Restoran Damai Utama

Address: Jalan DU 1/1, Taman Damai Utama, 47180 Puchong

After breakfast, we headed to the next destination - Subang somewhere πŸ˜† to meet a blogger friend. Some of you may know her. She blogs at www.smallkucing.com . I told myself I had to see her before Chinese New Year to pass on the plant pots I had promised in 2016.

I surprised her with a goodie bag ..she surprised me back! See what I got? All the stuff I love! The chicken cookies are impressive. To date, I sapu (wipe) half already, with much control.

Goodies

"Ladies always like that one horr, " Hubs continued with much amusement, "Rajin to prepare things. Men very cincai one - Hey brother, yum cha ..? "

Jan 12, 2017

16 The Magnificent Croissant At Le Bread Days

There was once a huge hoo-ha over these molten salted egg yolk croissants - long queues, shortage, frustrated customers.

Me? I'm late for the party as usual, which is a really good thing. πŸ˜‰  I strolled into the fairly empty  bakery around 10am last Sunday for breakfast. The hype, I guess, was over. It was my Birthday and I thought what better way to celebrate it than to go where I hadn't been before. Google provided me with lots of suggestions but here I was in this neat and cosy cafe getting my hot chocolate fix and trying out the famed croissant. It was the perfect start to my day.

Le Bread Days - Molten Salted Egg Croissant

A long time ago, I told my friend that life was short and we should look forward to planning and celebrating our own Birthdays instead of going low-key. It's wonderful to catch up with close friends and family, aaaand for the past few years, I have also been setting aside an extra day or two for myself to do the stuff I want. Often, I would choose a quiet staycation or getaway.

But back to my pleasurable experience at Le Bread Days - I fell in love with the croissants, of course. They were heavenly. Sweet, salty, creamy, it is stuff that you can easily overeat. The ambiance of the place was amazing. It was serene and I felt a sense of bliss. I liked that it was only us and another customer sitting in the white interior designed cafe.

The enthusiastic Hubs: Naaa..I cut for you to take picture. Here, here!  πŸ˜‡

Molten Salted Egg Croissant

The wife: Uh ..Ling, I do it myself, ok ... (laugh-die-me moment) πŸ˜… πŸ˜† Hubs gave me a sheepish grin that said 'Oh-my-God-I-messed-it-up-so-badly'.

I treasure small moments of funniness such as these. A smile creeping up on our lips whilst we reminisce candid times is the best feeling in life!

This is what we had for breakfast:

Hot Chocolate and Mocha (Around RM10 each)

Molten Salted Egg Custard Croissants (About RM10)

We couldn't resist buying these pastries home. They were yummy too!

Other Pastries From Le Bread Days

The outside and inside of Le Bread Days, SS15 Subang Jaya.

Le Bread Days, SS15

Le Bread Days

48, Ground Floor, Jalan SS15/4, Subang Jaya.
Telephone : 03 - 5612 2780
Open from 8.00am to 8.30pm

I can't wait to come back here! πŸ’—

Jan 10, 2017

14 Melaka : Restoran Famosa Chicken Rice Ball

It was a humid day. I was sweaty from an hour of traipsing around Jonker Walk before Hubs and I decided to lunch here. My hair protested with frizzy vengeance and there was nothing I could do about it. Hubs insisted I looked beautiful. Ahem.

The first floor of the restaurant was preserved to give us a glimpse into Melaka's heritage. That's interesting - I get to enjoy the food and then go for a walkabout. I was surprised when I got upstairs. There were several rooms set up to give us a glimpse into the culture of various communities. The wooden carving on the wall and the doors itself tell of an era of skilled woodwork.

Famosa Chicken Rice Restaurant - First Floor

In one corner was a sculpture made out of plates that had me scratching my head trying to figure out what the creator of this piece was trying to tell us. The Chinese wording on the wall made me even curiouser. Hubs showed me what it was for - I laughed.

What do you think? Do I look pretty in my Cinderella dress?

Me In My Borrowed Dress

The Famosa Chicken Rice Ball restaurant, located along Jonker Street, is a lovely place to go for yummy Melaka food. I enjoyed the lively atmosphere, friendly waitresses and watching experienced staff roll the rice into balls.

This is the food we ordered, which we were satisfied with.

Chicken Rice Ball

Here is a short video of rice being rolled into balls to give you an idea how its done.



Below are more pictures of the area in the two-storey restaurant. It is a busy place but if you come at the right time, there will be no queue and you should be able to get a table quickly.

Walking to the back, I noticed some tourists putting on the traditional costume for pictures. I believe it is free for anyone to use. It was here that I saw a staircase and ventured up to discover another world to this restaurant.

Restoran Famosa Chicken Rice
Top: Dining Area |
Bottom: The Staircase To The Upper Floor Is Pictured On The Right

It feels like a place out of a Kung Fu movie.

First Floor and Back Area

The Facade and An Olden Day Cart

There you go - another post on my Melaka trip, but I'm not done yet. There's more which will have to go into another blog post.

Jan 5, 2017

16 Snacking : Baked Cheese Tarts Part II

Here I am with more baked cheese tarts to tantalise you.

I finally tried Tokyo Secret's famous Hanjyuku cheese tarts after noticing no queue at their branch in IPC a few days ago. I must say it was awesome. The yummiest I've had in KL so far. Anddd I enjoyed all three varieties.

Hanjyuku Cheese Tart - RM7.90
Matcha Cheese Tart - RM8.90
Hazelnut Cheese Tart - RM8.90

The matcha cheese tart is pretty interesting to eat with red bean wrapped in, I think, mochi skin.

Tokyo Secret Matcha Cheese Tart

But here's the thing. I was in Melaka recently. My aunt and I saw a Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart stall in Mahkota Parade. Wanting my aunt to try something she'd never eaten before, I ordered a couple for us to eat.

I gave my two cents in an earlier blog post - I wasn't wowed.

Funnily, this wasn't the case at the Melaka branch. It was surprisingly the best baked cheese tart I'd ever eaten. The texture was much smoother, it was oozing with yumness and was very pleasant on the taste buds. My aunt fell in love with it instantly. So did I. She was complimenting on the lightness. It didn't feel like we would find a second piece hard to eat. There you go - a case of inconsistent quality!

So I round up by saying that Tokyo Secret is now my go-to for baked cheese tarts in KL, but in Melaka, I'm making a beeline for Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts at Mahkota Parade.

Jan 2, 2017

18 The Countdown To 2017

FuuUuuhh....fuUUuuuhhhh ! Just blowing dust off my keyboard. 

I've been away for such a long time, I don't know where to begin. My second Melaka trip? Christmas happenings? New Year celebration? Food I ate? Meeting the Cake Boss?

Happy New Year! -- I'll start with this. Wishing all my blog friends a very good 2017. May it be filled with wondrous adventures, love and laughter.

My New Year was supposed to be a quiet affair. We had planned on staying home, watching TV and at the stroke of midnight, watch the fireworks from the comfort of our balcony.

"Where will you be celebrating New Year?" I whatsapped my cousin early in the morning.

She replied with her home address, followed by the same question. I responded with the same. We haha-ed over that.

An hour later, I saw an ad on Facebook about a countdown party at Desa Park City (DPC). I sent hubs the online flyer with no real intention to go. It was just to show him what was going on in his favourite hangout. But he buzzed back with an enthusiastic " Let's go! " that I found hard to decline.

MM Cineplex at eCurve

By 4.30PM, we were making our way to a countdown party ...only we chose to go to IPC Mutiara Damansara instead after deciding that it would be a good idea to watch a movie to while the time away. It would be hard to wait the hours out at DPC - there was no cinema plus very few restaurants and shops.

My Sakae Sushi Dinner

We had dinner at Sakae Sushi, watched Passengers at MM Cineplex, shopped for a gift, then went outside to catch the concert in the last two and a half hours. There was a huge crowd. The atmosphere was amazing. People were singing along to the songs. We were lightly sprayed with party foam and colourful strings by a nearby group of people. That fun was short-lived as security confiscated the items within seconds!

Then, it was THREE! TWO! ONEeee....the fireworks went off. Here is a short video of the mesmerising light display which lasted almost ten minutes.


What an amazing start to 2017.

Dec 20, 2016

20 Croissant Taiyaki, Pavilion KL

Right, I had envisioned a quiet December to reflect on the year but it turned out to be my busiest month, not that I'm complaining since I'm having a lot of fun!

My cousin flew in from East Malaysia days ago. I alerted the rest of the relatives in KL and we decided to all meet for lunch at Pavilion, a mall just opposite the hotel she was staying in.

That's how I came to know about this cute looking croissant. I was checking out for places to eat!

Croissant Taiyaki, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Taiyaki Pan

Croissant Taiyaki

We ordered green tea custard and ham with cheese. One sweet and one savoury. Both were really delicious.

A little googling told me that Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped pancake. This was made with a little twist and hence the name - Croissant Taiyaki.

Croissant Taiyaki

Cheese and Ham (Top)
Green Tea Custard (Bottom)

It costs around RM7 per piece.

Croissant Taiyaki
Level 1 (Pavilion Elite), Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Dec 16, 2016

16 Hands-On Cooking Workshop With Alce Nero

When Alce Nero Malaysia offered me a spot on The Malaysian Women's Weekly Hands-On Cooking Workshop, I was quick to respond with an affirmative.

Five minutes later, I was kicking myself and cursing over this quote by Richard Branson that had me signing up for things on the spot without thinking things through or asking for the details before I do : If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!

Whilst I was excited about going, I had a small case of the jitters because it was my first time at a hands-on workshop and I hadn't done any stove cooking in years. Years! I whip my meals up in a simple no fuss multi-purpose electric cooking pot. So I went to the workshop with my fingers crossed that I wouldn't be defeated by how-do-I-start-these-things and the fiery flames that would follow.

No such thing happened, of course. The Cooking House (where the workshop is being run) uses induction heating cooktops and blunt knives. I believe the knives were intentionally left unsharpened for safety purposes.

Hands-On Cooking Workshop With Alce Nero

The first thing we did was to register our attendance.

Registration In Progress

This is what the cooktop looks like. We were gathered in teams of five.

Cooktop

These were the dishes Chef Pei Ling taught us to prepare. Baked prawns topped with cheese, salted egg pasta and jam-filled hot cakes with poached pears. Our food presentation was amateurish but this in no way affected the taste of the food - pretty delicious! I'm going attempt cooking these at home soon. If you're on instagram, follow me at 'snoringsheep' for my food adventures.

Salted Egg Pasta, Baked Prawns and Jam-filled Hot Cakes

By the time I walked out of the workshop, I had gained new friends and a confidence that said, "I can do this stuff ..haha!" I had also totally forgotten that I was down with the cough. My itchy throat behaved during the 3 hours I was focused on the workshop.

Finally, a group picture taken by the organisers of the event. We left the cooking house with an Alce Nero goodie bag in hand.

Photo credit: Women's Weekly Facebook


Dec 6, 2016

16 My New APTITLIG Chopping Board

I am elated with my new purchase. It's a large chopping board from IKEA!

IKEA - APTITLIG Butcher's Block (Front)

Made from bamboo and pretty heavy. It is, I would say, solid stuff.

IKEA - APTITLIG Butcher's Block (Back)

My regular-sized wooden board, although good, receives less appreciation from me when having to deal with long stemmed vegetables and raw food in larger quantity or size. This new chopping board allows me enough space to do all I need. Imagine not having meat and vegetables spill over the sides ..and being able to chop with abandon.

Just so you know, I only went to get this chopping board after the old one gave way from daily abuse. I didn't rush to replace it. I took my time since my mind was set on a larger board and I didn't want to get something for the sake of it.

I did some surveying at my regular shopping haunts but couldn't find anything that really called out to me. I finally turned to the internet and was intrigued by this APTITLIG piece that was being sold by a third party. It was going for about RM100 after a discount of almost 50%. This didn't include shipping charges. The huge price reduction excited me but I have a thing about seeing the items I'm about to buy firsthand, so I held off my purchase and went direct to IKEA Damansara to check it out for myself.

RM100? No way!

Fortunately I did, because the exact model was priced at just RM59 in the store itself. I picked out what I believed was the best piece.  In total, I forked out only RM37 for this chopping board after using up a couple of IKEA gift cards I'd won from earlier giveaways. I call that a bargain!

The care instructions are easy-peasy! It had to be treated with food-safe oil for a day before use.

APTITLIG Care Instructions

This is my chopping board - freshly greased with sunflower cooking oil.

IKEA - APTITLIG Butcher's Block Getting The Oil Treatment

I've been using it for a week now with a satisfied smile and a happy feeling.

Nov 30, 2016

19 Melaka : Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball

It was the longest queue I'd ever seen outside a kopitiam ; that made me curious. I crossed the triangular traffic island at Jonker Street to get a peek inside. Hainan Chicken Rice was written on the signboard.

"They're lining up for chicken rice balls!" I told my partner, rolling my eyes in disbelief. And that was that or so I thought.

We were up and about Jonker Walk early next morning looking for food. The skies were gloomy and it started to drizzle. Under the cover of a newly purchased tourist-priced umbrella, we scoured the quiet streets of quaint historical buildings for something to eat. We could tell we were in the wrong corner of town when it came to breakfast. Deciding to walk back, we passed Kedai Kopi Chung Wah again and this time, there wasn't a queue.

Chop Chung Wah, Melaka

It was 8am-ish. The shop had just opened. The rain was getting heavier so hubs and I made a dash for it, both agreeing that it was best to wait it out here. Only four tables were occupied with customers. We were welcomed in with a lovely smile and our order was taken - which was simply us showing a V sign with our fingers indicating we wanted food for two persons.

Whilst waiting, we watched an adorable child of not more than four years, possibly a relative of the shop owner, ambling up and down within the confines of the small building, greeting people she knew.

Two plates of rice balls and chopped kampung chicken was placed in front of us minutes later. I couldn't wait to tuck in! The chicken was tender enough and it was tasty. I almost asked for seconds but stopped myself from getting carried away.

Chop Chung Wah Kampung Chicken Rice Ball

Hubs and I enjoyed our meal in our own thoughts blissfully unaffected by the brisk activity around us that comes with the typical kopitiam style ambiance. It was cosy with us watching raindrops fall gently from the edge of the roof through an old side door that had been barred with a metal railing. The shop wasn't full so we sat awhile and enjoyed our drink.

Chop Chung Wah, Melaka

We left when the rain slowed to a drizzle. It was a yummy meal and a wonderful start to the day. We had a satisfied grin on our faces, plus a warm fuzzy feeling about the whole experience. It is another memory to be cherished.

This is what the whole place looks like coming in from the entrance.

Chop Chung Wah, Melaka

Below are photos I snapped whilst looking for a place to eat. The streets of Melaka on a chilly Monday morning.

A Morning Walk Around Jonker Street

Chop Chung Wah
is located across from this traffic island.

Jonker Walk, Melaka

The 'Don't Mess With Melaka' slogan is meant to be a stern reminder for people to keep Melaka clean. We saw these banners all around Melaka's tourist spots.

Don't Mess With Melaka

Chop Chung Wah
Address : 18, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka.
Phone: 06-286 0121

Nov 21, 2016

10 Melaka : A Night At The Wonderful Quayside Hotel

This is the hotel you'd want to stay in if you like rooms with a balcony to unwind; the view overlooks the scenic Melaka River. I was enamoured the moment I walked into the hotel lobby. No, I was hooked at the thought of staying here from the time I saw the photos on TripAdvisor.

Days Earlier

Haziq attended to my phone call to reconfirm the details of my room booking. He's that person who smiles over the phone. I felt it although I couldn't see him.

Fast forward a couple of days later, Hubs and I arrived at the heart of the heritage area in Melaka. My heart thumped with excitement and my eyes glowed with a happiness I cannot properly describe. Two people attended to me upon check-in, a young lady, possibly in her 20s, and an older woman. They were extremely helpful and friendly.

I knew I had arrived too early and wasn't particularly surprised at being informed that no rooms were ready. So I assured them that I was there only to register my particulars and would return after 2PM or 3-ish. They took my number down and said that they would call me the moment a room was available.

"I'm willing to wait for a good room, ya. You take your time. No worries one! " I said in my biggest smile. I was barely out of the door when they waved me back in. Lo and behold, less than ten minutes since I'd been there, I was already climbing up a spiral staircase to Room 205. How exciting!

The design is minimalistic with a large window that slides open to a balcony; I loved it!

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Premium Room With Double Bed

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Premium Room

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Premium Room With A Balcony

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Basic Amenities

A little about the 3-star hotel; It was once a customs warehouse. Now, it's a two-storey boutique hotel with 39 rooms.The whole concept of the hotel is warehouse-like complete with light bouncy flooring and walls non-too-soundproof. I was hardly affected by the noises made by my neighbours or the chatter from tourists walking past below the room. Guess all those years living in a village near the airport paid off!

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - The Lobby

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - The Reception Area

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Me On The Higher Floor

The hotel is located smack in the heart of the touristy area of Melaka. It's next to the roundabout at the Dutch Square (Stadthuys), round the bend from Jonker street and is on the same row as the ship museum. Just behind the parking lot is the famous A Famosa fort, plus several museums.
 
Quayside Hotel, Melaka - View From Across The River

The rate for the premium room with a double bed at the time of booking, including taxes, was RM231.06. I had made two requests - on the form, for a higher floor and personally telephoned them to reserve one parking lot.

The CarPark

Parking costs RM10 per day and is located across the road beside the police station in an open air private carpark. The hotel will provide guests with a numbered key to unlock the padlock on the folding parking post barrier. The parking spot is yours for the entire day - this means that you are free to leave and come back to it anytime.

Other Costs

RM2 heritage fee.

Website: www.quaysidehotel.com.my
Address: 1, Jalan Merdeka, Quayside Heritage Centre, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka.


The view from my room balcony; day and night. 

Melaka River Daytime

Melaka River At Night

Hubs and I had an amazing time. It was good to get out of the city to refresh the mind even if it was only for a night. The balcony was our favourite spot - we dined alfresco with food takeaways from Jonker Street's vibrant night market, took in the sights and sounds of enchanting Melaka and chatted about life in general.

How did we find the stay? Fantastic! No complaints! 

 

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