PIctures note

Do click on the pictures to get a bigger size :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lively Vietnamese Buffet @ Nada Lama, Equatorial Hotel Penang

I was fortunate enough to be invited to review Nada Lama's Lively Vietnamese Buffet today at Equatorial Hotel Penang. This buffet is available for a very limited time from 18-24 August 2015.

Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its lively, fresh flavors and also its very creatively crafted cuisines that not only look appetizing but is also very healthy. They feature many fresh ingredients in their cuisine and also make use of striking colors to make the food appetizing.

At the Lively Vietnamese Buffet, Nada Lama have invited Chef Tran Kim Hoang Trong and his team to showcase some of their best culinary creations which features from the authentic to the modern take of it. Over the course of the week, they will be rotating the menu to feature a wide variety of dishes, so visiting on a different day would bring something different to the menu.

The buffet is priced at RM148 Nett per adult and RM74 Nett per child. Dinner starts from 6.30pm-10.00pm for the duration of this promotion.

Do continue to check out my simple review of this buffet! Comments are always welcomed.

Located on the lower ground floor of Equatorial Hotel, what used to be the Coffee Garden is now called Nada Lama!
 Featuring a new look and modern design providing diners with a very comfortable and relaxing dining experience

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tasting of Eastin Hotel Penang - Wonderful Indonesia Lunch Theme Buffet

After the tummy filling month of Ramdhan, its now moving to August and Eastin Hotel Penang is starting their theme of Wonderful Indonesia. As we are neighbouring countries, there is alot of similarities to our local Malay food and many of our local favorites are actually Indonesian of origin!

The Wonderful Indonesia Lunch Buffet is available on weekdays for the whole month of August and starts from 12 noon till 2.30pm. The buffet is priced at RM66 nett per adult and RM33 nett per child. As a bonus, senior citizens get a 50% discount!

Do check out my photos and thoughts on some of the dishes highlighted. Hope you enjoy the buffet

We start of with the Nasi Goreng Ikan which has nice texture to the fried rice. The addition of fish in the fried rice is a nice change but I would have gave it more stars if it was salted fish instead :) But then that might not be Indonesian. During the buffet white rice is also available.
 The Beef Rendang Jawa gives of an aromatic aroma before one bites into those chunky pieces of meat. The rendang is slow cooked and the meat was very tender. Definitely should go for 2nd helping for beef lovers. (I did not try this as I do not take beef but my buddy gave the 2 thumbs up when trying this)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Day in Taichung ~ The infamous Feng Chia Night Market

Well, after walking in the town area, it was about 5pm and thus the perfect time to head to the night market. I guess night markets in Taiwan is ever so popular and according to many, Feng Chia is one of the biggest. The reason is that it is right at the door step of the university and with that automatically means lots of people. The perfect combination for a successful night market - Food + Students!

So from the National Science Museum, we took a bus which brought us literally to the doorstep of Feng Chia Night Market. As the bus approached, we can start to see that the streets were getting more crowded as we neared. The bus stopped at Fuxing Road and the roads were filled with cars.
 The sign board which says the name of the night market! Finally we are here. Its good to arrive abit early as then its not as pack. And I mean it can get really really pack!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Day in Taichung ~ Of Museums and History

As we are strolling in Taichung, one thing is obvious. There are many cultural places here, be it art or natural history. I guess this is really great for those that like to learn about the place and its culture. Right behind Kuo's Cheesecake has now been converted into an open air art gallery show casing alot of abstract and modern art by local artists.
There are also some souvenir shops but no photos allowed. So just take my word for it. I tried searching on Google map what this place is called but seems its not updated in Google yet. But the place is really a very relaxing place and I guess it was still work in progress in March 2015 but Im sure its completed now. So checkout the photos. Basically we walked all the way to the National Museum of Natural Science and that was where we took a bus to head to the night market.

The display of hanging pails
 They have all these colorful tires for people to sit I believe

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Day in Taichung ~ Famous Kuo Cheesecake 光之乳酪

As we were enjoying our slow walk about the central of Taichung heading to the Museum, we noticed this white building along Guanqian Road next to a park. So with curiosity, we decided to check it out. The good thing about Taiwan is that most places are very receptive to people visiting.
The outside of the building had a big poster in Japanese of a cake, but I can't read it but would presume its cheese cake la since Japanese cheesecake is popular right?
This is how the building look like from the main road. A big yellow poster!
The window panes with the cute sumo wrestler trying to climb in

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Day in Taichung ~ Walking along Yingcai Road

So after lunch, we took bus 290 to the town center of Taichung. Now can you believe that buses are free if you have a MRT card. Yes thats right, in Taichung its called the BRT and its a free bus service. Another thumbs up for them ya.

So we walk along Yingcai Road as this place is like a long central park in the city. Its surrounded by greenery which is really refreshing. As it was a weekend, we stumbled upon something like a flea market, though it was obvious it was proper business people running the individual stalls. The place was located next to Hotel One Taichung. There are alot of huge artpieces along the way and I spotted this huge metal Rhino! I think it can be a character in the Transformers movie with the all metal construction and mean look! As I was carrying my baby boy, I didnt stop and took another shop of the front face of the rhino.

A Day in Taichung - Lunch at a simple coffee shop called OEC

So what do we do after Rainbow Village? Well, look for food of course
In Taiwan, there is bound to be some place to eat close by as long as there are people staying nearby and thus, we decided to walk to the nearest bus stop that will go to the city. Google maps is really a wonderful must have and it easily guided us there with all the correct bus numbers and time table too.

We decided to walk to Zhongyong Road which is like a 15 minutes walk. On the way to the bus stop, we spotted a placed called OEC and since with baby in tow, and not crowded, we decided to stop for lunch here. Most of the items on the menu are sets, meaning it comes with a drink or sides orsoup. As we were hungry we ordered abit more for 2 person, but this being the outskirts of Taichung, the prices were very affordable.

We had dumplings, a plate of fried noodles and a pork rice set all for about NTD160. In Taipei, something like this probably cost about NTD250. So do checkout my yummy lunch at Taichung below.

10 boiled dumplings. You have the option of boiled or pan fried ones. It even comes with a mug of cream soup free. Good value for money.

A Day in Taichung - Rainbow Village

As mentioned, Rainbow Village was the first stop we made after alighting from the High Speed Rail (HSR). It was just a 10 minutes taxi ride and I suspect if really wanted can walk also la but probably takes like an hour or so. Taxi here is all by meter so no worries of being charged excessively.

The village was previously earmarked for redevelopment, meaning the place would have been torn down. In an effort to save it, one of the villagers, an old man supposedly now in his 90's, started drawing on the walls and making the place an overnight attraction. I heard its now a protected site, but not 100% sure about this. Anyway, its colored in a hue of rainbow colors thus the name. 

Hope you will enjoy the pictures. These were taken with my Samsung Note 2 and looks great on a sunny day :)

The path leading to the village. Really colorful paintings on all surface, even the pavement is colored
 There were many tourists, and Im sure there were a bunch from HK, Singapore and Malaysia. Can listen to the way they were talking. Haha

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Day in Taichung, Taiwan - Overview

Well, irony is that we only got to visit Taichung when we were about to return to Malaysia. But anyway, from Taipei, its really very very easy to get there. Just head to the Taipei main train station, where you can get there via MRT buy a ticket from the vending machine for the ticket and off you go. It only takes about 45 mins to reach Taichung and there is also 2 options, one is the express train which do not stop at all stations while the other takes slightly longer. There is alot of trains and I believe during peak hours its up to every 10-15minutes.

So off we went and the first place we visited, which is like a 10 minutes taxi ride from the Taichung HSR station is Rainbow Village. Imagine my disappointment when I realize that my cameras SD card was not in the camera!! I screamed in pain. 

Well, thus handphone pictures had to do but thankfully it was a sunny day and all pictures turned out alright.
Our rough itinary for the day as below

1. Rainbow Village
2. Lunch
3. Taichung Central - Various places
4. Feng Chia Night Market

Below is a preview as there are too many photos to put into 1 page so I will split them up. Hope you like them

Rainbow Village

The All New Gartien Pineapple Cake with Uji Matcha Pastry

I'm sure many of the readers would know that I have written about Gartien's Pineapple Cake before here and their many special editions. Well, most of those are related to new packaging and tweaking of flavors but now, after years of experimenting, Gartien has finally brought a new flavor to the market. Available from 1st of July 2015, and priced at RM36 per box, Gartien is now introducing a Pineapple Cake using premium imported Uji Matcha that is incorporated into their delicate pastry.

The result, a mild flavored green tea blended with the delicate taste of the pineapple inside. As their pineapple cakes always paired well with tea, this is now an even closer blend for the combination. As they are only using the best and freshest ingredients, its always a safe choice to grab a box as a gift or just to savour it at home :)

Do check out their new pineapple cake pictures below

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sheraton Hotel Dongguan, Guangzhou, China

Sheraton Hotel in Dongguan is a very popular hotel which is frequented or should I say preferred by the westerners or better known as Ang Moh. Located at the major road in Town, this is a full 5 Star hotel which definitely meets the typical standard of a Sheraton property.
Being an SPG member, its always a pleasure when you get to stay in the SPG floor or get an upgrade (though Im not always that lucky). I guess I do have to thank my previous employer for being able to provide a safe and comfortable accommodation each time we have to travel. So far so good with my experience here.

So on with the rooms. As can be seen in the photos below, its pretty much how its portrayed in the brochures. Its clean and comfortable and there is no dank smell in the room. One of the things I notice with an international chain hotel is that if you ask for a non smoking room, you will get a non smoking room whereas local China hotels really depend on your luck.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Chiak Penang @ Eastin Hotel Penang

Hehe, I guess some of the readers here would know that after a hiatus of 9 months, Im now back in Penang. Taiwan was a enjoyable experience and I guess there is still alot of writing about that place for me to complete. Still have not share alot of yummilicious places but hope I will soon.
But in terms of flavor and variety, I have to say it still can't beat Malaysia. No doubt there is alot of great and high end food, but if you are looking for a rendang or nasi lemak, good luck there in Taiwan.

So this May and June 2015, Eastin is bringing you a Chiak Penang fiesta as their theme where they will have a bunch of yummy local dishes to savour your taste buds. From local appetizers such as various kerabu and gado-gado to fruit rojak, main courses from western, asian and local flavors to various desserts, this buffet lunch will appeal to many with its great value for money pricing.

Available every weekday from noon to 2.30pm, and priced at RM66 nett per adult and RM33 nett per child, this buffet is really worth it. There is also a senior citizen discount of 50% so if you are retired but like to enjoy a buffet, this is bang for the buck. There is also an ongoing promotion for Citibank credit card holders where there is a buy 1 free 1 campaign. Also if you own a Maybank or Citibank credit card you are also entitled to a 15% discount for their buffet dinner. So head on over to try this buffet. You can check out the photos for some of the highlights. 

With a colorful theme, its only fitting that the food is served on colorful platters :)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gartien Crystal Pineapple Confiture Crossover Promotion

The name Gartien is quickly becoming a brandname in Penang as the leading producer of some very fine pineapple cakes - check out the link here. Now as their creativity expands, they have currently added a pineapple confiture aka jam to their mix of offering for a very limited time and in conjunction with this, they have partnered with 4 very distinguished food establishment where the pineapple confiture is used in a variety of ways to showcase the many uses of this confiture.

The places are ZiZai Restaurant, 43 Cafe, Soul Cafe and Kai Curry Bar! From now till end of May 2015, just order the Gartien Crossover creation at two of the above establishment and capture a photo of it and post it to Facebook or Instagram with the following hashtags, #gartien #pineapplecake #confiture . Bring proof of this (just show your post at Gartien) and you will then be able to redeem a bottle of this very special confiture worth RM16.80 while stock lasts. Do checkout Gartiens Facebook page here for latest updates

So do checkout a quick introduction on these places ya!
And here is a picture of the lovely bottles of the Gartien Pineapple Confitures!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Xiaomi Note Launch 15 January 2015

Its not everyday I tune in to launch events but its good that one of the biggest smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi does their launch events in the same timezone that I stay in.
So todays event in Beijing is about their Mi Note. It was a long wait as their CEO slowly unveiled feature by feature until he finally showed off the phone. And he unveiled not one but 2 versions of it!

So what are some of the key takeaways?

Xiaomi Note Standard Edition
1. 2.5D front curve glass display - the sides are chamfered
2. 3D back glass - Now this is a first. The whole back housing is a single piece of curved glass! Xiaomi really up the game here as this is really a premium design. Can't wait to see a sample.
3. 13Megapixel rear camera with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
4. 4Megapixel selfie camera which uses the sensor from HTC's camera which has 2micron pixels (this gives very good low light performance)
6. 5.7" 1080p JDI display with 95% NTSC color gamut
7. 4.4V 3000mAh high capacity battery from LG
8. Its only 6.96mm thick and weighs only 161grams
9. CPU is Snapdragon 801 and comes with 3Gb LPDDR3 RAM
10. Uses high quality audio components to have claimed HiFi quality sound

And the price is RMB2299 for the 16GB version and RMB2799 for the 64GB version

But the big surprise is the Xiaomi Note Special Edition or "Plus"
Major difference to the standard edition is
1. 5.7" 2K display (this is really cool!)
2. CPU upgraded to Snapdragon 810 and 4Gb LPDDR4 RAM - take note that its LPDDR4
3. Comes with 64GB of ROM (standard onboard storage)

And the price is RMB3299 which is just RMB500 over the 64GB Standard Edition which is actually quite a good value considering we now get the better CPU and display!

What a launch. They also launch a pro headphone set (RMB499) and also a miniaturize Mi Box(RMB199). Overall, I guess Xiaomi is now targeting the big display crowd with their very premium handset! Its good to see Xiaomi entering with a premium product with such high quality finishing. Now lets see if their supply chain can deliver enough of it to sell!
Available in China from the 27th January 2015 so good luck grabbing one.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bao Shen Steamboat at Luzhou, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Located along Changrong Road (I think its at 399) in Luzhou, there is a steamboat buffet place that is not high end but serve some decent selection for a reasonable price. The place is called Bao Shen and its a bright colored shop with a really large seating capacity. 

The shop is restaurant is open from 11am to 11pm and they have different pricing depending on the time you dine there. Another moot point is that one is limited to eating for only 2 hours only. But for the price of less than TWD300 per pax (children is half price), you get what you pay for I guess. I would say the highlights here would be the meat section where they have the pork, lamb and beef slices. During winter months, they also have venison meat too. 

Besides that, there are no options for soup base and its only a clear stock which is available. On the other hand, they also serve a selection of cold and hot dishes as well as drinks. All in all, pretty decent for the price that we pay for and gobble as much as you can eat in 2 hours. Enjoy.

The entrance with the pricing stated based on the time. Do note the finer print of 10% service charge