Apr 27, 2015

16 IKEA : Cheras

The buzz? IKEA will be opening it's second outlet in Malaysia end of 2015. We know it'll be located at Jalan Cochrane, Cheras. We know it'll be bigger than the one in Mutiara Damansara.

Busybody that we (husband included!) were, we drove to the construction site for a visit ...because why not. Do I hear - "Nothing better to do, arh?"

I know it doesn't seem like there's anything to see, but still, I felt excited.

IKEA Cheras

Kids need to play - it's how they grow into well-rounded adults ..... (Source: 2015 Catalogue - Page 206).
We're BIG kids. IKEA is our playground.

Apr 23, 2015

13 At The Launch Of The Resort Café, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa

It's not very often that I am awed by buffet spreads that make me wish I had the appetite of a professional wrestler who can gulp down copious amounts of food in one sitting. I spent thirty minutes deciding what to put on my plate. This predicament, in light that I can only eat so much.

Lucky me won invites to the launch of The Resort Café from a Facebook contest organised by Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa recently. The café is located near the entrance of the hotel so it was an easy find.

My first impression of the place was of wonderment. There were chefs and smiling assistants greeting us along the way. It was bustling with activity - on-the-spot cooking, food being served, photo-taking. We were well attended to. Kudos to the team!

Me, my Aunt and close Friend at The Resort Café

I would describe the ambiance as full of good vibes.

The Quieter Corner Of The Resort Café

'Wow!' is what I have to say about the food.

A tissue in hand would be handy right about now, because these are dishes that will make you salivate...lots. And the effort they had put into pulling off such a great feast to please us is cause for teary eyes.

The buffet offers a wide selection of cuisine to choose from - there's Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Middle Eastern and more. Click here to see the full list. Fresh fruits, salads and desserts were aplenty. I was told that the Nyonya kuih was flown in direct from Penang that morning. We were getting the best there is out there!

Here are some of my favourites.

DELICIOUS,I SAY
First, the Salmon Wellington. The meat was pleasantly tender. This was tops in my opinion. It was so heavenly to tuck into that the experience remains in my mind until today.

Salmon Wellington

Then, there's the creamy Blue Pumpkin Curry Soup which had me swooning for more that I tried to savour every slurp as long as I could. I can be really dramatic about yummy food.

Blue Pumpkin Curry Soup

Next, the Braised Soy Sauce Platter. As you can probably guess, this is rich in the flavour department. I had a little of everything. As a fan of soy-anything, this calls out to me for seconds.

Briased Soy-Sauce Platter

See Singapore Chilli Crab? Think rich, thick, spicy gravy. This is paired with fried mantao. I believe we shouldn't be shy to go all out at buffets because the Chefs have toiled many days to give us the tastiest food - planning, purchasing, preparing, cooking, taste-testing ..what they do is too vast for me to mention in detail. The best compliment you can give a Chef is to clean the plate out and lick the bowl clean. 

Singapore Chilli Crab

Desserts that make you wish they had a buffet just for d-e-s-s-e-r-t-s.

Imagine if, just for a day, the people at The Resort Café told me this - "Okay, Sharon. We heard ya. RM40nett eat-all-you-want from the dessert corner. You have two hours." ...... JOY!!

Notice that I didn't take anything anything from the salad or the fruit tower? I honestly didn't have space for that, not with desserts that looked this sexy.

Desserts
The ones I would have more than one serving of - Cendol Panna Cotta (dessert cup 2nd from left) and Coconut Pudding (dessert cup far-left)! Silky smooth is how I would describe the texture. The sauce has natural light flavours that's not overpoweringly sweet.

I also adore the Passionfruit treat that is adorned with a roll of Chocolate Strings on top (dessert cup far-right).

I would round up the dessert corner as a very romantic adventure. Can I say that my experience was orgasmic?

Desserts

INTERESTING DISHES
I found these dishes fascinating because it's not something that I regularly see or have tasted.

Luuk Chuup - A Thai mun bean marzipan.
 
Luuk Chuup

Chicken with bulgur in a cob loaf.

Chicken with bulgur in a cob loaf.

Pan Fried Chicken Patties with Espresso Sauce. The espresso is a nice touch to the sauce. The picture below shows some of the other dishes that we tried too. 

Top, from left: Fresh Oysters, Chicken Patties with Espresso Sauce
Bottom, from left: Glazed BBQ Beef Ribs, Winter Melon with Scallop and Fish Maw Soup

THE FRESH STUFF
There is a decent variety of raw and fresh food.

Top, from left: Fresh Salmon, Salad Sauces.
Bottom, from left: Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables.

Finally, the surprise! We were halfway through our meal when we heard ringing from a hand bell. "Could it be?"  Our excitement began to rise. Yes, it was the ice cream man! An ice cream cart was rolled into the dining area with much fanfare. We were each blessed with 'roti ais krim' (ice-cream with bread). Bliss. 

Ice Cream with Bread!

That ends my very exciting afternoon at The Resort Café, now etched in memory as a beautiful moment in my life - all thanks to the amazing team that had played a role in making things happen for us, the diners.

Apr 13, 2015

16 Boom, Clap ....Flash!

When I googled for images of lightning, the first thing I noticed was that my shots didn't have 'roots'. I learned of a better word to describe it as I delved deeper into the topic of lightning. The shots I took were clean of 'branching'.

From this website , I was able to identify the ones that I took were type 'Cloud-to-Ground Lightning - Positive (+CG) ' .

This first shot was taken behind a glass door. In all my years of living in a highrise, I've never really looked outside to see the flashes of light that so regularly sneak through my blinds, sometimes with the clap of thunder and pouring rain and sometimes without.

In all honesty, I find it a frightening affair and at times, I'm left wondering if my heart is doing somersaults within me!

On this particular day however, my aunt was around. We were talking about nothing in particular. I don't even remember why we decided to do this, but we had both edged to the sliding door like two scaredy-cats, just to snap a photo of the lightning that had been flashing every few minutes.

My unconfident finger stayed on the button of the camera ... boom! I got the shot. So this is it, my maiden attempt at photographing lightning. Proud laughing moment.

30th March 2015, 4.31PM - Kuala Lumpur

And below, my second try. A little braver, since I slid the door slightly open for this one.

9th April 2015, 8.14PM - Kuala Lumpur

No special gadget  - just my trusty old digital camera, one press of the button plus a bit of luck!

.... I am kind of looking forward to seeing the next one. Grin.

Apr 8, 2015

26 Kajang : Things To See and Do

Kajang town is lined with the quintessential row of shophouses of a past era. The skies remain clear of skyscrapers, but it is in no way quiet.

The town bustles with activity from small businesses and during weekends, there is the familiar traffic jam surrounding larger malls. Cars inch the area for parking lots.


With the construction of a MRT station in the heart of the area, it is a matter of time before Kajang catches up with its more modern neighbours. The idea that I can soon skip the 40-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur to Kajang for a taste of its famous satay excites me. How convenient to just hop on a train!

This brings me to the main purpose of this post - things to do in Kajang.

1) Tuck into a plate of delicious Satay Kajang, a dish of skewered charcoal-grilled meat that is eaten with a dip of rich peanut sauce. It is the pride of the town. The first thing that comes to mind about Kajang is its satay, and some say, nothing else.

These are the two most popular outlets.

- Sate Kajang Hj. Samuri is said to be key behind the rise of popularity for Satay Kajang. The main outlet is located in Bangunan Dato' Nazir which is adjacent to Stadium Kajang.



- Nyok Lan Satay (Restoran Malaysia) boasts of lean meat satay and a creamier sauce.

Satay Kajang Hj Samuri
Satay Kajang Nyok Lan

2) The history of Satay Kajang is preserved in Galeri Sate (Satay Gallery), which was officially opened in 2009. It is located near the MRT construction site. However, its doors are closed on weekends. I therefore did not make any attempt to visit the gallery since those were the days I was there. 

3) The Manju-Suddhi Buddhist Association at Kampung Baru Sungai Chua is a great place to go for some sightseeing. There are a couple of large beautiful statues of deities within the compound and one just outside.

Manju-Suddhi Buddhist Association

The Goddess Kuan Yin

Manju-Suddhi Buddhist Association
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pbms.bo

4) Mewah Club, which has a restaurant and a swimming pool, offers a great view of Kajang town as it sits by the side of hill at Taman Bukit Mewah. It is a short drive up. Imagine romantic meals and a place to chill.

Staying at Prescott Hotel Kajang would be a plus because shuttle services can be arranged for guests who wish to go there.

5) Deeper into Bukit Mewah (after Mewah Club), is Loong Tien Koong Temple (龙天宫). Other than its name, Google led me to very little information about it. It was a place I spotted from the main road and it took me awhile to locate it!

The temple is currently undergoing beautification works and is expanding to include a large hall. I had asked for permission from the caretaker to take a look-see. 

Loong Tien Koong Temple

A good view of Kajang from this spot.

The view at Loong Tien Koong Temple

Located metres away from the temple, is a shrine with a lovely garden.

A Shrine Near Loong Tien Koong Temple

And that ends my little adventure in Kajang.

Are there any other places that you think I should add to the list?


Apr 2, 2015

21 A Stay At Prescott Hotel Kajang

When I told everyone that I was heading to Kajang  for a holiday, I was met with quizzical looks of "Errrrr.... why Kajang? " I laughed at that.

Although the town isn't a major tourist haunt, I believe that it has potential to become a decent holiday destination. I'll elaborate on my sightseeing adventure in my next post. For now, a little about the hotel I spent my days in.

Corporate bluish grey covered the facade of Prescott Hotel Kajang. It was an aged design that had flourished decades ago in the construction of office buildings, in Kuala Lumpur. These days, the city is lined with high-rise architecture that has an edgier and trendier feel.

Kajang, however, is a small town that has yet to catch up with the status of a modern city. Hence, this sense of nostalgia as my eyes roamed the rows of old two-storey shophouses, reminiscing about the small island I had come from which has a similar setting.

Prescott Hotel Kajang

I felt only the warmth of friendly people as I stepped into Prescott Hotel Kajang. It was as though I had just walked into my own home!

The receptionist checked my details, briefed me about the room access cards and provided me with login details to free wifi (I am so impressed with the internet speed!).

"Hello, makcik! " I cheerfully greeted the cleaning lady, whom I would be seeing for the next couple of days, as I walked towards door number 3503. She always had a smile for me.

This is it - the Executive Room. Cosy and spacious comes to mind. The dim yellow lights added a romantic feel. The matt gold wallpaper is a classy touch that I thought made the room a little more breathtaking. I knew I was going to get a good night's sleep and I did!

I was most excited with the six sleeping pillows that came along with the room. One of the things I love doing, when I'm on the bed, is to prop a lot of pillows around me. Getting comfy, I call it! Then, I'll be flipping TV channels to search for a movie. It's a habit I caught from the husband, this pillow piling thing.

Prescott Hotel Kajang

This is a shot of another corner of the room. There's a hair dryer in the drawer, an ironing board, bath robes and a safe deposit box in the cupboard. There's also a mini fridge beside the bed. How thoughtful! Chilled drinks are always a welcome refreshment after long hours of being out in the sun exploring a new town.

Prescott Hotel Kajang

I headed to the bathroom and was really pleased to see this bath collection. I just couldn't bring myself to remove the items from the pretty packaging. So I brought it home instead, unused. It's my way of prolonging the inevitable. I'm going to have to use it one day! Sob.

The Bath Collection

Outside my room, it is bright and airy. I have always preferred rooms facing out in the open, like this one. I'm rarely enthusiastic about walking along a dim corridor.

The Staircase At Prescott Hotel Kajang

We were blessed with complimentary buffet breakfast at Blenders Cafe. The food selection was small, but more than sufficient in my opinion. I'm more of a light breakfast person.

Blenders Cafe is right below!

Breakfast at Blenders Cafe

Finally, this is the lobby area. It has a couple of massage chairs in the corner. That's me holding a printout of the room reservation. The receptionist who attended to me was courteous and helpful. Don't hesitate to ask her where the best satay spots are!

Me checking in!

The hotel is located smack in the middle of town. I would say that this is one of the biggest advantage about staying here! It is within walking distance of two large shopping malls. Around the corner are street eats such as the legendary Hj Samuri Kajang Satay, chilli popiah, Indian snacks and Roti John.

I got a glimpse of local life right where I was. Imagine my excitement when a religious procession passed below my window one night. It was the sound of the tabla that drew me to the sight of devotees carrying  their deity in a carriage with blinking lights.

All in, I had many wonderful moments in Kajang. Perhaps it was because I had already set my heart and mind to find beauty in little happenings that surround me.

Standard rooms can go as low as a hundred ringgit during promotion periods. For Corporate Rates, contact the lovely Ms Afida Mosir at [afida.mosir @ theeverylygroup.com] .

Website: http://prescotthotels.asia/Kajang
 

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