Hotel Tanjong Vista, Terengganu .. a 3 star hotel. Really?

Work and leisure can come hand in hand. Especially when the husband is the one doing the work stuff like going to a conference whilst the wifey gets to explore her surroundings. teeeheee.. we did just that last month as we make an 8 hour drive to Terengganu.

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Mr Husband chose Tanjong Vista Hotel because it promised a lot of good things. Their selling points included a pool for the kids, a breakfast buffet to ease the early morning hunger pangs, free parking for in house guest and a strategic location to most of the places you need to go.

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I have to admit. They delivered these wonderful things without fail.

I too loved that they have an ironing board in each room. And a fresh smelling sejadah (praying mat) because most public prayer mat macam kusam and kepam rite? Most importantly they have a mini fridge which is like awesome for a 3 star hotel. And can we please give them a round of applause for complimentary drinks in the lobby and daily newspaper!!

The location is just great as it is nearby tourist attractions like Pasar Payang and the beach with loads of stalls and eateries. Finding local delicacies is not a problem. there was not a single stall in Terengganu where the food taste awful .Like wow.. kitak urang tok keturunan chef istana dolok marek ka apa? he he.. 

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Even the hotel breakfast buffet was commendable. Such delish nasi dagang for breakfast. And a whole lot more variety befit of a 3 star hotel.

Of course there were minor glitches. For instance;

  1. free but limited parking space. So if you happen to be staying there during a conference or something – be prepared to leave your vehicle outside the hotel premises. You can still see your car from the hotel room window but if something happens – you can only manage an ‘oh nooo’ from your room
  2. customer service information may vary from one personnel to another – to make it simple, be nice and just talk to the most senior person in charge. They have no malicious intent on charging you extra. They just don’t get that you need separate receipts for each room.
  3. Housekeeping may arrive at your room a bit late. Even if you’ve been out for almost the whole day. They were nice to apologize for not being able to make your room on time especially when you have soiled diapers that need to be disposed off. We make do by just allowing the team to get rid of the rubbish and replenish the supplies which include shower gels and bottled water.

Despite the above, it was still a good stay. it was a 3 star hotel on the high side. LOlz..

Weekend in Kuala Lumpur at Izumi Hotel, Bukit Bintang

Apart from being my fathers part time personal assistant (PA), I have also been kept busy with my proper job as a medical officer. I have been selected to attend a weekend conference. Yah.. bila mana ko tak oncall dia suro gi kursus – Thank god, the conference was beneficial and interesting. buatnye dia suro aku attend rashes in pediatric patients.. or asthma in pediatrics – aku akan mengamok sebulan.

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So I happily booked a hotel near the venue of the conference. I was not willing to splurge that much money at JW Marriot itself, so I booked Izumi Hotel. Somehow rasa tertipu dengan Agoda.Com because the rate offline was cheaper than online. Tapi takpe.. rezeki hotel.

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Both Mr Husband and I are not really familiar with Kuala Lumpur. So we were technically tourist in our own country. WAZE was hopeless in directions – hence turned to Google Map for help. The entry to the hotel was into a very small Jalan Berangan just under the fly-over near the Arab Restaurant (middle pic). Go slow, you might miss the turn. Turned out, the hotel had a GREAT location.

Like wow.. dalam map nampak jauh sikit tapi the shopping places were like so near!! Everything is within walking distance. The husband and child should not by any means get bored okay?!!! Pavillion, LOT 1o, Fahrenheit Shopping Mall, Sungei Wang plaza was practically sepelaung away. There were lots of options of restaurants to have a meal. Arab? Malay? Western? Chinese? A bar? You name it!  For a while, Bukit Bintang seemed like a foreign place because of the flock of international tourists everywhere! So meriah!!!

We did not even have to use our car which was kept in the ‘lift carpark’ of IZUMI hotel which was co-shared with Fortuna Hotel. I was so impressed.

The ladies at the hotel reception were ever so helpful. We had complimentary newspaper (The Star), free WIFI in every room, complimentary drinking bottles of water and coffee in the room. On top of that, there was an ironing area and water dispenser on our floor (level 8) for both hot and icy cold drinks.

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My boy loved the shower. Interestingly, there was a small glass window separating the bathroom and the bed, so I can watch over my boy while he so called independently showers himself. Ha ha.

We paid about MYR 130/night. There were breakfast options at its very own IZUMI Bistro but we didn’t take it. I would definitely choose this hotel again in the future.

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Home cooked food – Kimchi Fried Rice

It’s the Awal Muharam public holiday today and I am very relieved to not be oncall.

Special occasions like this are usually times when ‘home chefs’ get a break from the kitchen. Eat at the restaurant or something. I on the other hand had a particular craving for something Korean to eat. So we stayed in and had home cooked food. I whipped up KImchi Bokkeumbap for lunch  – in other words Nasi Goreng Kimchi. 

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I bought my Kimchi through a local online seller. The IG account looked legit @kimchimalaysia. In conjunction with #mycybersale2015, it costs RM22 for 500g worth of kimchi (discount yay!). I had the kimchi as a side dish, as bits in my cucur/cekodok ..  I gave part of it to my Mother-in-Law just in case she wants a taste of the kimchi as well. The few final spoons were used for my fried rice. I managed to finish the kimchi in less than a week. Sedap sangat!! 

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Recipes are everywhere. I basically had garlic, splashes of oyster sauce and kimchi in the rice. It tasted OK. Very sour. it leaves this zing! in your mouth on your tongue after the meal.

I will definitely order this again when the next craving strikes!

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많이 드세요.

[Mani tuseyo.]

Revisiting Langkawi 2015 : Tok Senik Resort

We stayed here for 4D3N. Despite an eerie atmosphere (initially), the rustic soothing village surrounding soon warmed up to us and it felt less creepy. In fact, it was so relaxing and to a certain extent luxurious. OK. I am too kind. Ha ha ha.

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Kampung Tok Senik Resort, one of the most outstanding hotels in Malaysia, lets you experience the splendour of true Malay heritage. Basking in the abundance of nature, our resort in Langkawi is an exclusive haven reminiscent of a ‘kampung,’ the country’s traditional village.

Our rustic rooms and suites offer a pleasant invitation for you to enjoy a simple and laid-back atmosphere. Here you’ll feel relaxed and completely at ease. More importantly, our hospitable staff will provide you with their expert service as you take in the awe-inspiring beauty of the island.

At Kampung Tok Senik Resort Langkawi, you’ll love the amazing tranquillity inspired by our cultural legacy and pristine nature.

Source : Website

Our ‘house’ named Rumah Sahak has 3 interconnecting rooms. Each room has its own bathroom of course and a small living room. We have no idea if this is a deluxe or a suite because we booked it as a package online through the AirAsiaGo website. All rooms are air conditioned – the middle room however has access to a small balcony overlooking the paddy fields and other houses in the village.

Shared facilities of the resort include a public pool located beside an abandoned bistro. They boast of good food at Warung Tok Mat – an in house restaurant located near the reception. We tried the breakfast package. It was not served as a buffet but as an ala carte meal. Thumbs up for the Fried Bihun. The American breakfast however was disappointing – a bit bland I must say.

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Good points include;

  1. functioning hot & cold shower, in room mini fridge and kettle – the latter a tremendous joy for mothers with toddlers who still drinks powdered milk.
  2. kid friendly swimming pools – not crowded at all. If only the benches were maintained properly and kept in order. the pool itself is clean though.
  3. in room complimentary drinking water and beverages
  4. could hear the Athan ( a call to prayer) from far – pretty interesting for visitors outside Malaysia to experience the ‘sound’

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Weak points include;

  1. inconsistent housekeeping – sometimes we’d get fresh towels but rubbish bins not emptied. Or toiletries not replenished because hey, we need that shower foam.
  2. the walls are not soundproof – I could hear my father in law snore in the room next door but because he is family, I don’t mind. Imagine if the ‘disturbances’ comes from other visitors. We did have cats running around on the roof at night.
  3. some visitors complaint of mosquitos but we did not experience any bites during the stay

Would I choose to stay at this resort again? For the pool, yes. I would have breakfast elsewhere. There’s so much more food to experience. Yummy..

 

Kuching 2015 : Where to Eat

Here’s the thing about being in your hometown. I just tend to stick to something I’m familiar with and less adventurous. However, this should get you started on anybody’s culinary adventure.

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RUMAH HIJAU (24A-24D, Jalan Rubber,93400 Kuching, Sarawak) 

The risk of stumbling into ex-colleagues are there but hey.. it is a good moment to catch up. We had to visit the place twice because we were actually aiming for 2 dishes – The briyani ayam madu and the pisang chocolate cheese pancake. Sadly, these must-try dishes are only available on weekends. So plan your trips wisely.

They also offer Nasi Ayam Penyet, Penang laksa and other forms of roti.

KETS KITCHEN (Lee Ling Commercial Centre (Lorong Lee Ling 1B), 93050 Kuching, Sarawak)

Perhaps going there for brunch is not really a good idea as most vendors have not opened their stall. But thank god the mi kolok is there.

Other mentions would include : Kueytieaw basah (udang), Laksa Sarawak, Nasi goreng daging.

KOPI O KORNER (No. 139B, Bangunan MARA, Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching, Sarawak)

This place serves a lot of choices of breakfast and lunch. Every year we come to this place without fail as the place is clean and service is quick. It can be a bit expensive to frequent to everybody but the food is worth it. We had the MI Kampua Special and the famous 3 layer tea.

Other dishes you may want to try include Mee Jawa Special, Mi Pok (its not pork mind you) and of course the Laksa Sarawak.

SINGAPORE CHICKEN RICE (EXPRESS) (Jalan Rubber (Lot 476-477, Sect.10 KTLD), 93400 Kuching, Sarawak)

Our latest visit is a tad disappointing. We used to adore the Steamed chicken rice set but this time the chicken looked and smell old. Even the Midin Goreng Belacan tasted odd. I had the ‘new dish’ which is called Corn Soup. It turned out to be a normal fishball soup with sprinkles of corn and what looked like leftovers of carrot slices and lettuces. Not to recommend. The only thing that has the ol’ same aura of greatness to it was the 3 layered iced tea.

MADAM TANG’S LAKSA ( THE SPRING )

I barely recognised the suffocating ‘makeover’ to Madam Tang’s Laksa. Prior to the food court in The Spring Mall being renovated and standardized, this particular eatery had its logo and all put up big and high enough for people to see from afar. Now, I had to literally ask the generalized LAKSA STALL ‘are you previously Madam Tang?

To which the cashier happily replied ‘AOK”

The LAKSA SARAWAK was price-y but the taste was worth it. I am willing to shut one eye as I paid RM7.50 for a bowl of its normal laksa.

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Of course, there are other places once should try like TOP SPOT seafood centre, Teh Tarik Kafe, MOM’s LAksa, Bla Bla Bla cafe, Sambal Planet etc.. we just did not have enough time. HUHU..