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..

Kuching 2015 : Places of interest

Coming back to Kuching playing tourist was fun. I have difficulty telling my colleagues of what they could expect from their visits to Sarawak. Kuching especially, as I feel that it is a place NOT for shopping but more of a place to discover Nature and Culture. Depending on what you’re looking for actually.

I used to go back to Kuching during EId. That is the time when you see Kuching become so vibrant and festive as people wear their nicest and most colourful clothes to the mall or to the movies.

This year around our little family decided to explore more of our hometown. Near Gawai season. Here are a few places to name a few.

MATANG FAMILY PARK

The admission fee was cheap for Mykad holders. Only RM 4.00/pax and visitors get to spend their time at the park and bathe in the waterfall or BBQ-ing for as long as they wish. Bring an extra pair of clothes. There is no dress code but please do not skinny-dip.

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Hazeeq was still afraid to be in the waters but he enjoyed his imaginary fishing. Going there in the early hours of the day was serene. The water was cold, the sun itself had this nice warmth to it. I think its a good place for locals especially to just allow themselves to immerse in the beauty of the place and enjoy what Mother Nature brings.

We did not go to Bako National Park this time. I went there some time ago during houseman-ship. It is a boat ride away from the mainland and the trekking paths are more ‘adventurous’ and scenes more interesting. I would recommend it to more avid hikers.

Gunung Santubong is also nearby. An hour away depends on where you live. heard that they’re introducing new things at the Damai Resort – so that should be equally fun as well.

CAT MUSEUM

Located withing the Petra Jaya vicinity, the museum is located in the DBKU administrative building up a majestic little hill. Admission is FREE but visitors will be charged for the cameras/ phones with camera they bring in at RM3/each.

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It is basically a museum that collects everything there  is about cats and elaborate on history, popular culture, superstitious beliefs and many more. It is astonishing at how capable they are in making such a cute museum just to tell us about cats. Hazeeq had a grand time there as he posed with whatever big cats he can. Well.. the parents too!!

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KAMPUNG GERSIK

This is the popular village that houses the famous Sarawak layered cakes. They have Dayang Salhah, Mira Cake House and D’Nona to name a few. They can pack our cakes nicely and neatly in a box safe for flight handling. The strips of cakes naturally would cost between RM 10 – RM 25. They have the dry and wet layered cakes and most of them are colorful as much as they taste heavenly. They make good gifts to inlaws. He he.

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MAIN BAZAAR/WATERFRONT

This is a very beautiful strip along Sungai Sarawak especially at nights. Apart from boat cruises and , if fancy is not your middle name  – they also have the Bot Penambang where you pay a very small fee to get across the river. For fun. And perhaps pay a visit to Kampung Boyan for the local food, Kampung Gersik for the layered cakes or visit Fort Margherita.

This is also a good place to get souvenirs –  I bought my keychains, fridge magnets, songket sarawak and pua kumbu there at  a very reasonable price. The locals are more than happy to help wrap them up for you – again safe for flight.

KUBAH RIA/PASAR MALAM

Sometime ago, this particular market was known as Pasar Satok because it was located at Satok. Now that they have relocated – it is more known as Kubah Ria Market. As any other market, we have all the wet and dry goods and this was where I hunted for my Laksa Sarawak paste, the powdered spice for my Bubur Pedas and all sorts.  They also sell those rare vegetables you don’t see in the markets at tanah semenanjung such as Sayur Midin, Dabai and Terung Asam.

Its a good place to see what people eat. Who knows if you might come across exotic finds such as the crawling Ulat Sago.

So these were the places we went during our stay. Of course other honorable mentions include The Sarawak Cultural Village, Orchid Farm, Chinese Museum, Jalan Masjid India (Carpentar Street) and Semenggoh Wildlife Centre (orang utan)

If you were to visit outside Kuching, thats where you’ll find The Niah Cave, MULU Cave and Dolphin Sighting places. Do come by to Sarawak – it is an interesting world of nature and culture. Next up, Food glorious food.

Yogyakarta : Cakrakusuma Hotel, Jalan Kaliuran

RM 559.56 . That was the cost for our trip – A return flight ticket from KLIA2 to Yogyakarta for 2 adults and 1 child plus a 4D3N stay at Cakra Kusuma Hotel. Minus shopping and touring money of course.

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I was pleasantly surprised with this hotel. It was rated as a 3 star hotel but hey.. it was worth all the money we paid for. What was important was not only the cleanliness but the kind hospitality they offered to my kid. It was like a small resort in its own world. At one time you’re on the busy streets of Yogya and once you’re in the facility, you’re like in a different place. Very cooling and relaxing.

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There were a few setbacks:

We had to weather the rain to get to our rooms situated further back from the roofed reception. Especially now when its sunny during the first half of the day and like a meteorological expert – we can predict the rain to pour by 3PM everyday. Thank god for in-house umbrellas.

There was no fridge in the room. We had a leaking sink and the walls were not soundproof.

But they compensated well:

Hot showers, daily complimentary bottled water and beverages, free basic toiletries, a resourceful reception and fine room service dining. At least we can still experience Indonesian cuisine within the comfort of our own room especially when it rains during dinnertime. We enjoyed the Free WIFI most, so Mr Husband could VIBER his parents back home and upload the pictures on FaceBook.

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Would I stay at this hotel again? A definite yes.

The 1-Day Tour ⌉  Taman Sari & Malioboro ⌉ Food & Ole-Ole ⌉

66 Hours in Phuket : What We Did

Itinerary ⌉ Our HotelHalal Phuket Food

In short, there were 2 highlights of this trip.

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First is the Phuket FantaSea and the other is Island hopping specifically to James Bond Island since we’ve been to Phi Phi Island when we were in Krabi.

PHUKET FANTA-SEA

 

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To me this place is a mix of a mini theme park and a circus show. Its not a big place nor is the show heavy and elaborate, but it was entertaining nonetheless. There were lots of picturesque or cute locations to take photos and just hang around.

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Prior to this trip, Hazeeq have been watching Dr Seuss’s Horton’s who – this story about an elephant who is on a mission to save a world on a speck. Hence, my boy was very excited at the sight of elephants performing on stage at The Elephant Palace. To be honest, I don’t totally understand the storyline of the play yet I remained enthralled by the beauty of their graceful traditional dances and costumes. The show lasted for an enjoyable one hour and we hastily proceeded to the buffet area.

Phuket Fanta-Sea was very kind to provide a Halal buffet spread which we enjoyed to bits. It is however sad though to see some patrons wasting precious food. Some cakes were untouched after a flick of the fork at its icing. Oh dear, why can’t these people just finish what they took. Or shove it into their partners mouth or something.

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We spent roughly 3 hours there before the transport man picked us up as scheduled. Money well spent!

JAMES BOND ISLAND HOPPING (Phang Nga Route)

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I had no idea that this trip was relatively safe for a toddler like Hazeeq. I was a bit apprehensive when they mentioned canoe-ing as part of their activity even though they say ‘can bring baby – no problem’. To be more safe, I brought Hazeeq’s swimming vest for him to wear on board. We were not taking any chances.

Subhanallah, everything was just beautiful. Whoever discovered these islands are pure lucky – bless  those who choose to share this with the world. And of course earn money from it.

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Lunch was at Koh Panyee – a  floating Muslim fishermen village. Populated by nearly 200 families who although lives surrounded by the riches of the sea still needs to go to the mainland for dry goods and fresh water. Electricity is supplied by a generator to function during certain hours of the day. Tough life.

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Followed by a 90 min free and easy activity at Naka island. Our guide was ethical enough to inform us against taking picture with the ‘baby monkeys’ on the beach when approached by the locals. He said some of them went to the extremes of killing the mothers of these baby monkeys so they would be attached to their human mothers. He didn’t really say “Don’t” but mentioned he thought he should just let us know – for he fears paying the locals for a photo with these monkeys will fuel their ‘monstrous activity’.

Most tour participants swam, sunbathed, drank cocktails and stuff. We were on the other hand itching to go home as my boy was already sleeping. So we just sat there, meditated, took a nap. .. until it was time to leave.

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All in all, it was a good trip.

Pretty Phuket – Another trip to Thailand

Our Hotel ⌉ What We Did ⌉ Halal Phuket Food 

 

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It was another short holiday abroad for our little family of 3. Mr Husband couldn’t resist trying to book for another Free Flight offer by Air Asia and yippee we landed a freebie to Phuket.

At the moment, I’m still hooked up with some leftover assignments at work but details of the trip is coming soon – I hope.

Yang penting, kita enjoy!!

A brief itinerary of the trip:

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