Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Quick Lunch | Pho Hello Taste Vietnamese Cuisine Kuantan

We love Vietnamese food. Starting from our university life, we stayed in Melbourne which has many Vietnamese migrants. The fragrance and affordability of a hot bowl of pho was always the highlight of our weekend shopping trip. And this hasn't changed. Our recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City further exposed us to the various delicacies in Vietnam's culinary world.

Refer to my previous posts about Ho Chi Minh City's

We are so happy to find an authentic Vietnamese restaurant in Kuantan town area near the famous Wan Satay.

Pho Hello Taste Vietnamese Cuisine
B-8008, SEri Kuantan Square, Jalan Teluk Sisek, Kuantan
Opens daily except mondays 8am-6.30pm

One of the special must-try in Vietnamese cuisine is the rice paper roll. Dried rice paper dipped in water to soften the skin. Wrap fresh ingredients such as basil, cucumber strips, carrot strips, prawns and thin slices of pork with blanched vermicelli. The dipping sauce is a refreshing combination of fish sauce, chili and roasted peanuts. Heavenly and healthy combination! The rolls can also be fried for a change.

Beef pho. The clear broth is so sweet and packed with the freshness of beef bone, star anise and  fish sauce. Springy rice noodles with slices of beef (can be raw or cooked because the beef will be cooked in the pipping hot soup to a tender finish), beef tendon and beef balls. Garnished with basil, wedges of lime and fresh bean sprouts, these vegetables should be blanched quickly in the broth when it's hot for a refreshing taste. I love how spicy the bird's eye chillies were.

Bun Thit Nuong or  Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli. This is very similar to the concept of salad in the Western cuisine. Blanched vermicelli tossed together with julienned cucumber, carrot, lettuce, mint, slices of well marinated grilled pork, roasted peanuts and fried spring rolls. Dressed with a special sauce made from fish sauce, chilli, sugar, lemon and garlic, it's finger licking good.

Not to forget a shot of strong Vietnamese drip coffee with condensed milk. It's so aromatic and coffee lovers should definitely try it. This is what is keeping me up at late night after my oncall last night to finish up writing my review.

Overall, our verdict is 8/10! Affordable and delicious Vietnamese food. Clean and comfortable dining environment. Can't wait to go back and try more of their dishes.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Best Thai Dessert in KL | Veggielicious Thai Cuisine PJ Review

If Rama V  has the best Thai cuisine in KL area, I would say Veggielicious Thai Cuisine in section 17 has the best vegeterian Thai food and dessert in town. 

Veggielicious Thai Cuisine
Address: 17-G, Jalan 17/56, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Telephone 03-7931 3299
Opens daily except mondays 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-10pm

Even though I only had 2 photos of our dining experience there, I highly recommend if you want a decent vegetarian meal. It did not feel as if I was having vegetarian at all. We ordered sweet and sour 'fish' (made of tofu and seaweed), luohan vegetables (a mixture of stir fry bean curd skin, glass noodles, black fungus, shitake mushrrom and carrot), mango kerabu salad, fried tempeh with fried peanuts, green curry, red tom yum and egg tofu stew with mixed vegetables. The flavours were balanced and the texture interesting.

The highlight of the meal was the dessert.

Red Ruby 

Fresh and crunchy water chestnut cubes were coated by tapioca flour in attractive ruby colour, resembling the gemstone. It went so well with the jackfruit slices that made us wanting for more even after we finished. The shaved ice with coconut milk was a welcomed taste especially during hot weather.

Mango Sticky Rice

A classic Thai dessert, this is also a must try at Veggielicious Thai. The glutinous rice was warm and dense yet not too thick. Drizzled with a generous amount of coconut milk, it made the rice even more fragrant. Topped with cripsy yellow mung beans, it is a great contrast in terms of texture. The mangoes were just riped and fresh, sweet and went very well with the glutinous rice. It brings about a very homey feeling.

Our verdict was 8/10! Having vegetarian meals do not have to be boring. One just need to know great places to hang out such as this or Zao Zi Shu as I have previously blogged before.

Lunch Date in Kuntan | Loft by Loteng Food Review

We have been wanting to try Loft but it's always crowded. So one fine afternoon we managed to beat the crowd and arrived when the place was still quiet. If you want to really enjoy the place, I will suggest to reach slightly before 12noon.

Loft by Loteng
A37, Jalan Dato Lim Hoe Lek Taman Union, Jalan Dato Lim Hoe Lek, Taman Union, 25200 Kuantan, Pahang
012-318 8949
Opens daily 12–11pm

Our attention was first drawn by the attractive range of dessert (cheesecake and icecreams) on display. We decided to dine upstairs as it was hotter and stuffier downstairs. Fairly comfortable air-conditioned dining environment.

These were the lunchset menus. Each main dish comes with a free beverage (lemongrass drink/iced tea/hot green tea) and a free scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

The complimentary scoop of icecream was creamy and rich. But we would appreciate it to be served after we finished our main meal. Because by the time we finished, it was almost all melted. It was brought out without asking us which was a minor letdown.

We chose the Serai Aroma drink which was fragant and surprisingly not sweet.

Mango Kerabu Tempura Chicken Chop

I love how crispy and juicy the chickn chop was. The portion was generous. One has to eat it fairly quickly or else the vinegrette from the Mango Kerabu salad will render the chicken chop soggy. The Mango Kerabu was refreshing and tasted sweet and spicy. The surprise element was the coriander which stood out beautifully and brought the flavours together. Chips were hot and crunchy as well.

Tom Yum Bee Hoon Soup

The Tom Yum was fiery enough to my liking. Coconut milk was added, perhaps to a more Malaysianised taste. Big portion and could easily feed a very hungry grown up man. The ingredients were also fresh. To be honest, the presentation looked so much more humble than the strong kick that it gives.

Durian King Ice-Cream

This was the main reason why we wanted to try the Loft out. Not a fan of durian food product, but the presentation really made us wanting to try this Durian King icecream out. Made of fresh durian flesh, it was rich yet not too overpowering. Smooth and made us feel like gobbling the whole icecream. The 'thorns' were made of piped matcha cream frosting and we got a bit sick after having a quarter of it though.

Our verdict 7.5/10! Affordable price and cosy environment. Yummy food but we thought the staff could be more attentive and efficient.

A Weekend Business Trip at Pullman bangsar KL

This business trip was my first ever attempt to leave both baby Yi and Bing boy under the care of my parents and husband. I decided not to bring them along as I would only be away for one and a half day. The separation anxiety was not really there by the time I drove out of the house because I had already prompted Bing boy a few days beforehand but it certainly took him a while to accept that mommy was not going to put him to sleep on Saturday night. 

With the newly found 'me time', I arrived at Pullman Hotel Bangsar an hour ahead of the scheduled meeting. 

Unfortunately, the rooms were not ready yet so I had to leave my luggage at the concierge. Since I would be pumping, I asked about leaving my ice blocks in the hotel fridge but it was not possible due to worries about cross contamination. I was reassured that the hotel would be able to provide me a bag of ice though upon check out the next day. I was glad that I checked in before the meeting started because there was a long queue because they advised to only check in after the day ended. 

No. 1, Jalan Pantai Jaya, Tower 3, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 (3) 2298 1888 
Fax: +60 (3) 2298 1999

The room was too spacious for me alone to be honest! It's what everything a 5 star hotel should be. Comfortable, fluffy pillows and fresh beddings. A working desk. Flat screened TV with satellite TV channels. Tea making station with bar fridge (no freezer compartment). The fridge was bug enough to fit all my expressed breastmilk- about 20 oz worth. A safe. 2 bathrobes with iron in the wardrobe. 

The bathroom was equally fabulous. 

I could finally enjoy the whole big bathtub to myself. But this tub could easily fit 2 people and it took about 15miutes to fill it up. 

The toiletries provided was of good quality. Hair dryer was also available. 

I even managed to squeeze 30minutes time each for a quick swimming before dinner and cycling trip after dinner.

The highlight of the hotel stay was definitely the food!

Dinner was spectacular with seafood theme. It featured Chinese, Malay, northern Indian, Japanese and Western menu. From sashimi (salmon, tuna, octopus), iced seafood (scallops, prawns, crabs and oysters), grilled seafood, seafood hotpot (soup choices- chicken, prawn or tomyum broth). 

The standard rice dishes, brocolli cream soup, pizza, bread, salad bar and soup noodles were also available. 

The dessert section was so colourful with tempting chocolate fountain and a great selection of local kuih muih.

The other side has assorted cakes, very rich brownies (to die for!) and cashew chocolate cones, not to mention their yummy ice-cream and shaved ice stations. 

The breakfast was of equally good standard and variety. My favorite is their croissants and danish with fresh delicious salad bar. Their bread is soft and still warm. 

They also have one of the freshest and cheese selection! Love it to bits. 

I would easily rate my weekend stay a 8/10! Very impressed and exceeded my expectations. Definitely would consider staying at Pullman Bangsar again.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Cosy staycation | Hatten Place Malacca Review

From my recent posts about Encore Malacca and Who's Tea Malacca, you guys could have probably guessed that we have recently visited Malacca! So where did we stay? Of course at the newest hotel in town-- Hatten Place. Follow me to find out what Hatten Place Malacca is like.

Hatten Place Malacca
Address: Hatten Place Melaka, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Hatten City, 75000 Melaka
Phone: 06-222 9696
Official website

Hatten Place Malacca is a 4star hotel located above Elements Mall Malacca. The lobby is at level 12. Look at how stately the check in lobby is.

My boys, as usual, quickly made themselves comfortable after we checked in to the Superior Room. It is 20.5 sq meters  and equipped with a King sized bed, 40' LED TV, bar fridge, safe, tea and coffee making facilities and a rain shower. Fairly cosy but just a tad small for a family of 4 with 2 young children.

The bathroom is clean and there is a blind, when lifted, with direct view of the bed.

The view from 21st floor. We could see part of the Straits of Malacca and the cargo ships which my eldest was excited about.

One can also order for different pillow options, which unfortunately we conveniently forgot because we were too tired and hit the sack straight at night.

We had some problems with the safe but the staff responded and replaced the broken safe within a few hours.

But don't worry, there is plenty of space around the gym and swimming pool area for the children to spend some energy. There is an infinity pool with a spectacular bird's eye view of Malacca and a children pool which is under the shade so water can be a bit chilly at times.

The buffet breakfast at the Thyme is quite standard for a hotel of such establishment. There is a section for hot food such as local breakfast (nasi lemak, fried noodles, chicken rendang) and western options (hashbrown, baked beans, omelette, hard and half boiled eggs, sausages). The salad bar is great as well. I love the cherry tomatoes and caesar salad dressing. Besides that, the bread and pastry corner is definitely up to par with my favorite sour dough, multigrain bread, danishes and croissants.

Since Mr husband was busy at the conference during the day, we decided to explore the Elements Mall our own. It's definitely not easy to bring 2 young children, one in stroller and the other free on the go. I was quite glad that there wasn't much of a crowd. The mall is still very new and there is very limited shopping and dining options. But enough for us to spend the afternoon.

There are plenty of children rides in the mall.

The lifts in the mall can be confusing because at one wing, it could directly lead to the hotel lobby and only certain levels in the mall. The other lift could only access the other levels such as Jumpers Land on level 3.

Jumpers Land is a really big indoor playground. As it is new and the management do serious sanitisation 4 times a day, we have no worries letting our children play there. The size of the slides, mega bocks, maze, trampoline and children toy rides can easily entertain children from toddler to primary school age for the whole day.

And they check the children's temperature because those with fever will be denied entrance. Both children and accompanying adults have to wear socks in the playground. And we were allowed multiple entries during the day for toilet breaks and lunch elsewhere in the mall. There is a western food corner meant for family just next door with children friendly options like burgers and carbonara.

Overall, we find Hatten Place Malacca a pleasant stay and welcome the serenity of the place.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The making of Encore Malacca | performing arts theatre review

Malacca is well known globally as a historic city and a UNESCO world heritage site. But what's so great about it? As a Malaysian, I'll proudly swear by Malacca's awesome food choices as per and many instaworthy historic sites like the A Famosa fort ruins, St Paul's church, Stadthuys and Christchurch. But where can we find a way to truly experience Malacca's multiracial culture and unique Baba and Nyonya heritage? It's none other than Encore Melaka!

Encore Melaka is a unique performing arts theatre built on reclaimed lands by the straits of Malacca.  So don't be surprised if Waze directs you to drive into the sea!

Encore Melaka

No. 3 Jalan KSB – Impression 8 Impression City, Kota Syahbandar, 75200, Melaka
06-270 7777
Official website 

There are currently two shows running daily.  I highly recommend the 5.30pm show because it's just the right time to enjoy an awesome sunset view by the beach by the time the show ends.

The attractive LED lighting in the evening also makes Encore Melaka such a beautiful landmark in Malacca.

The brief synopsis about the show- the audience was brought back in time to witness how Malacca was first ruled by Parameswara which then became a melting pot of culture with interracial marriage and Baba Nyonya heritage.  Because of its strategic location as an international commercial port, many settlers from China, India and Portuguese have come for business.  But some eventually
stayed behind, started a family and integrated their culture and religion into the local community until today.

But today our focus will be about the intriguing technology and planning that brings Encore Melaka to life.  Encore Melaka is part of the Impression and Encore series,  a brainchild of Chinese leading directors Zhang Yi Mou , Wang Chao Ge and Fan Yue. These are huge names in the  global movie industry.  A total of 5 Impression Wonders has been created, harnessing the power of live performances in natural settings.  I have personally been to Impression Liusanjie in Guilin China and felt so inspired by the performance.  Not only that the opening and closing gala of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was also produced by the Impression Wonder Group.

Look at how ordinary the stage looked before the show started. There were 4 thin circular tracks on the ground. Little did we know how important these were until we finished the show.

The entrance doubled as the stage. It's 360 degrees rotation with multiple layers and levels. That's why the doors have to close on time. During the show,  one could appreciate faint throttling sounds as the various stages rotated through the front stage.

The drum performance was definitely a very well coordinated and impactful part that managed to deliver the message of how big a group the Chinese settlers were.  The LCD background was semi transparent at times,  making the visual representation of them braving the waves and arriving at Malacca by sea.

The LCD projector managed to enliven the performance even more.  It acted as a great way to compartmentalize the show- in one go there can be multiple mini stages rotating through the main front stage, each featuring a distinctly different scene.

For example,  the background was either black or in a patterned background such as a classic Baba Nyonya living room setting.  Each of the mini stages were at different levels featuring various traditions in Baba Nyonya families like traditional wedding,  dances and  tailoring traditional clothes.

One of the highlights of the Encore Melaka show was the dance in water.  The dancers,  clad in flowy costumes,  danced to depict abstract concepts such as ruin, peace, death and the birth of the multiracial new generation in a wartorn environment.  Coupled with colorful stage lights and most,  it made the performance complex yet attractive .

What's more. Every visitor gets to take photo with the performers free of charge! We love their traditional costumes.

Even if you are not really that much into the show (which is a great shame! Because for someone like me who is not that art and history inclined,  I thoroughly enjoyed Encore Melaka's performance), there are so many instagrammable spots around the theatre. It's just like visiting famous Sydney's Opera House. Encore Melaka has an unobstructed  view of the Straits of Malacca. And it's a perfect spot for sunset.

Encore Melaka is definitely a great showcase of the Malacca culture and spirit.  Make it one of your top to visit list in Malacca! For the whole July,  grab discounted tickets at Encore Melaka! 

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt