Ramadhan 2020 in the midst of Covid-19

Muslims are unable to perform congregational prayers especially Terawih in this holy month. I am sure other religious practices such as Sunday Mass are equally prohibited for the time being. As for myself, I have been performing Terawih ever since I became a mother – so this is a norm for me. But lately, I banyak tersasar. The mental drain and physical lethargy gets overwhelming towards the evening. I tend to sleep early at night.

There is no Ramadhan bazaar. There are only online options which is a bit limited and risky as in you need to find a reliable seller that sells tasty food as opposed to newbies who just wants to test the water. I miss legit taufu fa and apam balik crispy. I miss ayam percik, nasi kerabu, laksam and nasi dagang. I can’t seem to find sellers that sell less spicy popia sira, kuih bongkol (at least that is how Sarawakians spell it) and delish air kathira.

I ordered online food for Iftar yesterday since I was Working From Home (WFH) from Jaykam Katering Enterprise. I couldn’t really order online on days I work because the runner/rider’s timing might not coincide with mine. I do not want to trouble them in case I don’t reach home on time. Unless they can deliver to the clinic before 5PM. I tried the menu from this seller because I was craving for asam pedas tetel and paru goreng. Ee wanted Laksa Penang as well. On top of that, I tried their Jus Delima (pomegranate juice). The food was very spicy for my Sarawakian taste buds. Even my Malaccan husband had difficulty to tolerate it because he has a low threshold too. I bought other dishes too and I spent RM44 from this seller alone including runner service fee.

I also bought desserts from another vendor but since the food is disappointing, it is best not to leave a review.

My firstborn Ee has managed to fast for one whole day which is an achievement. It has been a few years of ‘half-day’ that we think, as parents it is time to take it up a notch. Thankfully, due to COVID-19 he does not have to endure school in Ramadhan as it is closed. The hot weather and tight schedule might put him off. Yes, it may defeat the purpose of fasting but I’d like my kid to observe fasting as something fun and memorable as a child. Not of pain and punishing.

As for the little one, she has more vocabulary than ever and often copycat her brothers words. She will commence her daycare session probably this Friday with necessary measures, of course. I hope she will be OK.

Arenaa Deluxe Boutique Hotel Melaka

It was on one of the weekends during the water rationing period at my residential area. Mr Husband decided to book a room for a weekend staycation. For the fun of it.

This is a 3 star hotel located in Ujong Pasir, Melaka . It was less than 10km from my own house. As usual, Mr Husband breaks the news on the last minute and I had to pack the suitcase like Speedy Gonzales. This hotel does not have a pool but it is walking distance to the city and its tourist attractions.

The LOBBY

We booked a Family Room for 3D2N. The rooms were priced at about RM152/night without breakfast . This was before the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) due to Covid-19 took place. It’s a huge room with 2 double beds and 1 sofa bed. There were 4 complimentary beverages sets, FREE WIFI and an outstanding shower settings.

If I could list down the perks,

  • big, spacious room
  • ample parking is available across the street and they are reserved for hotels guests only.Road traffic is OK to cross the road.
  • adjacent to the hotel there is a place where you can have gusto malaysian breakfast called Perhentian Kuih Kampong. They serve the typical Malaysian breakfast of nasi lemak, lontong, roti canai , kuih etc..
  • bathroom has this very sophisticated shower system. Water just spurts from everywhere and I love the pressure and water temp. I took the opportunity to shampoo and scrub my body for ages.
  • View is amazing
  • Free wifi and super fast
  • Mattress has a ‘topper’. This was something new to me. The comfortable sleep we had (husband did not even snore!) is enticing me to buy one of those toppers too. It has this cooling effect when you sleep.

Considerations:

  • housekeeping is not done daily so if you have kids that use diapers, do consider bringing extra trash bags to contain the aroma of soiled diapers until they are picked up on checkout
  • there are 2 elevators (that I found) in the hotel. Thankfully our timing was not on peak weekends so you might want to consider that too
  • I am not sure what type of breakfast spread they serve – perhaps other bloggers could spare details on that

In short, this 3 star hotel is clean and budget friendly. A place that I would definitely consider again for a staycation for its awesome shower system and the view!

Subhanallah

Staycation at The Shore Hotel & Residences, Melaka

Our residential area has been affected by the recent water rationing measure due to the low water level in our dams. We have been on an alternate day roster since early February. Our water supply is dependent on the little tank on days without water. Hence it is a mandi burung, berak perpada kind of affair. On days where water is supplied, we get to do the laundry, do some exercise (hence able to wash hair) and other cleaning chores. I have never took cleaning so seriously until this happened. Rajin plak tetiba nak menge-mop.

Interestingly, last weekend Mr Husband booked a hotel room at The Shores Hotel & Residences, Melaka for a 3D2N stay there. He was surprised to see price plunges and placed a booking for a Studio Suite Room since hotels are not affected by the water rationing schedule. The Shore is not to be mistaken with Swiss Garden Hotel despite towering beside each other.

Our room was facing a beautiful skyline at night. We have a mini fridge, the usual amenities with complimentary beverages (upon checking in only) and spacious single beds. The bathroom was not kid friendly because of the near transparent glass windows and so I preferred to shower at night. Good for me though as I get to shower longer and scrub down my dirt. The shower gels had a lovely scent to it.

I brought my laptop with me and did some studying on my uni portal. The FREE WIFI speed was awesome. We did not choose the breakfast option in our stay as Mr Husband preferred to buy roti canai at the nearby 24 hours mamak just underneath the hotel. You will never starve in Melaka. InsyaAllah. The 24 hours convenience store is also of walking distance.

We played tourist and had lunch at Dataran Pahlawan. We ate at Johnny’s. I really loved the sauce they serve with the meal and of course the tomyam. I am salivating (again) as I blog of this.

The kids enjoyed the swimming pool on Level 23. There is a gym aesthetically placed over the pool with a connecting bridge. It is so Instagrammable but I did not bring my shoe. There was a tragedy though in the pool less than a year ago where a young boy drowned. It made headlines in the local paper for a few days. I hope the family is coping well.

You could get to the SkyDeck if you want at the 43rd floor but we didn’t do that. We were lucky that during our stay, there were not many visitors. Maybe because of Covid-19. Cause I couldn’t imagine how 4 lifts are going to serve the whole tower. It would be a very very long wait on each floor.

It was a short and memorable staycation. Although I was a bit pissed at first for the abrupt getaway (cause I love a planned vacay), I was glad that we went ahead with the rush anyway. Sometimes you just gotta let the wind take you to where it wants to blow. I felt rejuvenated. I was able to bathe without a time restriction and water quota. I get to apply a facial mask while studying in an air conditioned environment for hours without having to think of skyrocketing bills. I get to see the moon and stars in the night by just stepping out into the balcony. And I get to have my husband with me over the weekend with the kids in one room at most times. LOL.

Thank you Mr Husband

The little princess. NINIE

Ee just turned 8 years old

.. and he is bragging about his height.

.. I have just another 20cm to go before I get to be as tall as you, Mummy

honestly, not looking forward to that. Ha ha.

As always, we have a mini family celebration followed by parties on both sides of the family. For his birthday dinner, nucleus family level – we went to Rest Haus Restaurant located in Taman Lagenda, Melaka. It has an open shoe policy before entering the premise. I would personally recommend their daging salai set (smoked beef) & ribeye roll. Their macaroni cheese is superb too.

No photo description available.

A few days later, we celebrated Ee’s birthday with my husbands family at my brother in laws new flat unit he rents out for his homestay business. We bought the Indulgence Cake from Secret Recipe and I ordered additional desserts from an online homebaker on Instagram.

I was craving for Pavlova and creampuff, so I ordered those. Total of my purchase were RM90 for 46 pieces of creampuff and 16pcs of pavlova. I paid for the deposit online and completed the transaction once I picked it up at a location in Muzaffar Height. I am contemplating to order the creampuff again for next year. Ha ha ha.

The following weekend was Ee’s final birthday bash with my side of the family. Initially I had wanted to arrange another swim at the villa but the rates were super expensive since it was a school holiday. Hence, for minimal fuss, I decided to just go somewhere for a hi-tea buffet. Ditching our usual venue i.e Sama Sama Hotel, this time I thought we should give Verandah Restaurant at Cyberview Resort & Spa a try.

Making a reservation was easy and for me, reliable because they utilize the TableApp. The journey there was peaceful as the traffic was not congested. Yelah, nama pun gi resort kan. I brought Ee and Adil’s (his cousin) themed birthday cake there too.

This time I ordered the cake from Anisskekhouse.

This homebaker now has 2 physical stores located one at Kip Mall, Bachang and the other at Bukit Baru. The boys wanted a Doraemon adventure in the land of dinosaurs sort of thing and was glad that she knew exactly what to do. I was pleased with the results. The cake was banana chocolate with buttercream icing and for a size of 7 inches, the price totaled to RM70 with self pickup.

Verandah restaurant buffet spread was super wonderful. My folks love it, my brothers kept giving a thumbs up. I was binging on the protein and veges instead of the carbs. Would definitely go there again! We were a party of 8 adults (including 2 senior citizens), 3 paying kids and 1 kid for free.

A paying adult is RM68.00 ( as advertised) but on our receipts marked down as RM64.15

Senior citizens get a 30% discount. Children pay half of the adult amount.

And surprise, if you pay with a Maybank card, you get an additional 20% off the total bill. I honestly was not aware of that! Total after discount was RM457.00 This promotion is of course at a limited time only. And I also just knew that if the timing is right and you know where to look in the world wide web, some app or sites offer vouchers to eat here for a cheaper rate.

The party at Verandah Restaurant was the end of Ee’s birthday celebration. He received lots of presents and birthday ang-pow. His dad gave him a sim card so he could play his video games. He got a remote controlled helicopter of which only the dad could operate it well. His remote controlled car became Ninie’s favourite toy for a day.

In a few months time, we will be celebrating Danial’s bday pulak. He is Ee’s uncle. And that will be another great celebration.

Myeongdong Topokki Taman Lagenda Melaka

I think I am in my Korean phase – a phase where I am infatuated with everything Korean from the latest drama, variety show, gossips, songs & food. This phase will pass too but until the enthusiasm wears off – I am on a mission to fulfill that K-void. Even my makeup has taken on a Korean vibe to it.

FYI – I have been binge-watching Youtube videos of Hong Jin-Young with her charming, aegyo personality who appeared in various variety shows in Korea.

On top of that, just last week my family and I tried Korean street food at a new halal outlet called Myeongdong Topokki in Melaka.

Honey Jujube RM7.90
Green Tea RM3.90 ( refillable x 3)

The concept is that it has a counter where you order food and then collect at the kitchen when your number is called. It would have been a better experience if I could see the menu beforehand so that (as first timers) I will not freeze or deliberate too long on my choices upon ordering. It would have been ugly if the queue was long.

I ordered the trending snacks youngsters nowadays seem to enjoy. For my husband, I took the liberty to order him a set of Bulgogi Beef Deopbab. Basically, it is rice with marinated beef alongside side dishes of kimchi, soup and green tea.

Bulgogi Beef Deopbap RM18.90

My son Ee had the regular corndog.

Corndog RM 12.90
Ganjang chicken RM10.90

I ordered a Cheese Topokki. Of course, this is because I have been influenced by the numerous clips I see on Youtube. I find that topokki is not to my liking but at least I have tried. I think it’s the spiciness that puts me off. Koreans really love their gochujang (chilli paste).

Cheese Topokki (large) RM15.90

We enjoyed the Ganjang Chicken most. It is not spicy. I would definitely order a bigger portion on my next visit.

As for drinks, I had iced green tea. Customers can refill their green tea up to 3 servings ! Ee had honey jujube drink which was equally nice.

In short, this is a child friendly eatery. It is clean and exudes the young, cheerful vibe. Food is not bad but a bit pricey for street food. But we have to remember, this is an imported menu after all – haruslah harga mahal sikit. Parking spaces are difficult to come by. Customers tend to double park. Apart from the minor glitches, I think it is worth trying.