Nong & Jimmy Seafood Restaurant

Love seafood? Seafood dining in restaurants can be rather astronomical but here’s one place you can enjoy delicious seafood without burning a huge hole in the pocket.

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Nong&Jimmy, Seafood Restaurant.

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Pricing is pretty transparent and the current market price per gram of seafood is displayed at the whiteboard for customers’ reference.

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Seafood produce are fresh from the sea and the amount is rather limited, so I would advice you to be quick to grab your choice of seafood produce to be cooked to your liking.

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All seafood produce are priced in kilograms except for cockles which was priced per plate.

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Fresh cockles, ready to be prepared to your liking.

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Seafood being grilled

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Fresh BBQ crabs

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Also spotted in the vicinity of the restaurant is a You Tiao stall manned by two middle age ladies. According go the regular patrons here, the Yu Tiao is freshly prepared upon order and is a must try dish whenever you dine here.

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Here’s some dishes that we managed to try the other day; Mango Salad, Prawn Cakes,Seafood Fried Rice, Seafood Tomyam, Grilled Stingray, Steamed Seabass, Sweet Sour and Spicy Seabass, Butter Prawns, BBQ Crab, Black Pepper Crab, BBQ Squid and Mini You Tiao.

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Prawn Cakes RM15 (small) / RM30 (big). The prawn cakes was absolutely divine. It was adeptly fried and was bursting with flavours. Chunks of prawn meat can be easily found in each of it so this is the real deal. I would suggest you to go easy on this though, as Nong&Jimmy have plenty more to offer and you might want to save space for other irresistible delicacies.

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Mango Salad /Kerabu Mangga RM12 per plate. Shredded unripened mangoes mixed with assorted chillies, crushed peanuts, fish sauce and topped with sweetened squid crackers. This is a typical Thai appetizer. This one is a watered down version though. I find it rather mild to my liking but it is appetizing nevertheless.

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Seafood Fried Rice RM6 per pax. Very simple egg and shrimp fried rice. The fried rice has enough wok aroma but not overly overwhelming on the taste. You could still taste the sweetness of the seafood ingredients in it, so for those who can’t go without rice in their meals, you might want to give this a go.

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Tom Yum Soup RM15 (small)/ RM30 (big). A forewarning: The Tomyam Soup is not for the fainthearted. While it was generous with seafood ingredients, it was flamingly spicy. If you can’t take spicy food, then I would seriously suggest you to tell the chef to go easy on the chillies upon ordering. I’ve always been a fan of tomyam, unfortunately this was way out of my league. It was really rich and no nonsense kind of Tomyam Soup, though. Certainly will be going back for more, but a milder version, that is.

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BBQ Stingray RM20. Perfectly grilled and very flavourful. The meat was still tender and quite juicy on the palate. I usually prefer my BBQ Stingray done with banana leaf wrap instead of aluminium foil wrap, but these are not too shabby.

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Butter Prawns RM44 per /500grams. The prawns are fresh and done on a sweet note. I wouldn’t exactly recommend the prawns done in butter style if you want to really enjoy the original sweetness and freshness of the prawn. Plainly steamed would be better but the dish is quite addictive and quite a treat.

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BBQ Squid RM12 per plate. Served with a side of homemade Thai chilli sauce, the sliced BBQ squid looked rather unappetizing and plain. But please don’t be fooled by it’s unappealing presentation. The squid retains it’s original oceanic flavour, not overly chewy and is absolutely mouthwatering. Highly recommended and one of my personal favourite that night.

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Thai Style Steamed Fish RM40. I’m definitely not a fan of steamed fish. I usually prefer crispily fried ones over steamed fishes but this one was tantalizing and delicious enough to make me go for second helping. Prepared simply with Thai chilli sauces but it was really tasty.

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Thai Style Fried Fish RM40. Looks inviting, no? I did not manage to try this as it was gone the minute it was placed on the table. Hence, I can’t comment much but judging from how the rest at the table attacked the fish with fervour, I guess this dish was really amazing.

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Grilled Crabs RM70/per kg. Grilled and not steamed, the crab meat still retain it’s freshness and juiciness.

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Black Pepper Crabs RM70 per kg. Flavourful and sensational. Personally, I would recommend this black pepper crabs over the grilled crabs.

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Last but not least is the Mini You Tiao served with a side of rich, homemade coconut jam. This can be taken as both dessert or starter but because the nature of this dish is rather sweet, I prefer it as desserts instead of starter. The dish is lovely and definitely for those who have sweet tooth. My son love these to bits and I’ll be sure to order more than just one plate in my next visit.

This modest restaurant is located in Taman Cahaya Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Getting there with public transport can be quite tricky but it is pretty much easy to reach if you are driving. I would advise you not to not expect much from the ambiance. This is not exactly the kind of place where you can have a romantic dinner, but a place strictly for seafood indulgence. Foodies who appreciates good Thai style seafood will most likely love this place.

Early booking and reservation is recommended as the place tend to be crowded with diners.

Nong & Jimmy Thai Seafood BBQ
Lot 27363, Jalan Cahaya 1,
Taman Cahaya,
Ampang Selangor, 68000
Tel: 03-4251-1807
Business Hours : 6pm -11.00pm (Closed on Monday)

Ben’Z Yasin Style Raya 2015 Collection

When it comes to menswear, my husband and I have a few all time favourite designer’s label. Most of them are clothing designed by local designers. Yes. Both of us are quite taken to wearing designer’s label these days, but when it comes to traditional clothing, only a handful of them are appealing in our opinion. There is one label in particular caught our attention recently; Ben’Z Yasin Style. It is fairly new in the fashion industry but in my humble opinion, Ben’Z Yasin Style can go really far.

Ben’Z Yasin Style has recently introduced their Baju Melayu 2015 collection and I thought they gave new breath to somewhat traditionally rigid Baju Melayu.

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Ben’Z Yasin new line of Baju Melayu Collection for Aidilfitri 2015. The design comes in four different style and colours. Combining songket and satiny fabrics with contrasting colours, the collection receives mixed reaction from fashion enthusiasts out there. While traditionalists and the conservatives claimed that the outfits are out of norm and too bold, I personally fell in love with the collections and thought that they are not only striking and could make any men who wears them look tastefully fashionable, but the clothing could also be converted into smart casual wear if worn with just slacks and without the traditional sampin.

Below is the four different colours available in the collection:

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PinkHot, suitable for metrosexual men who are bold enough to wear pink.

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PurpleStyle. Splashes of colours that makes interesting combination. Strutting in these will surely turn heads towards you.

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OrangeStyle, vibrant and striking, this energetic and cheeky colour one will surely make the wearer stands out in the crowd.

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And last but not least, BlueStyle. Among all of the designs, my husband and I loved this one the most. It was love at first sight.We thought that this particular Baju Melayu design by Ben’Z Yasin Style is stylish and elegant enough without being overly frilly. Versatile in the sense that it could be worn casually during festive season and formal occasions.

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Local band and singing sensation, Aftershock, wearing Ben’Z Style Raya Collection for their Aidilfitri 2015 MV shooting. Eye candies, aren’t they?

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Far left : Are Bern, the founder of Ben’Z Yasin Style

I had the opportunity to interview the inspiring man himself during the MV shooting for Aftershock’s Raya MV. Check it out:

My interview with Are Bern, founder of Ben’Z Yasin Style and behind the scene for Aftershock Raya MV shooting. Video edit by Garfield. The interview was done in Bahasa Malaysia, though.

If there is one thing I can say about the collection is that is definitely visionary and I think it will win the hearts of many youngsters. Traditional wear needs no longer be boring but stylish instead.

This entry was posted in Fashion.

Fuss Free Shopping at Cincaibuy

Shopping during festive season can be quite a hassle. While I’m a self professed shopaholic and can never resist a good sale, I would never bother to endure the congested traffic or the terribly long queue at the payment counters in shopping malls just for a seasonal bargain.

I prefer to do my festive season shopping online. Now, being a shopaholic, I could name a few online shopping portal that I recently frequent, but here’s sharing a fairly new one that offers quiet a steal, cincaibuy.com.

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Cincaibuy.com is an online shopping portal. The website is mobile responsive, minimalistic and easy to navigate.

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To make purchases, you will need an account. So all you need to do is register an account with them by submitting your email and your choice of password for the said account, or simply login via social media like Facebook and Twitter.

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Once you’ve created an account, you can start navigating the site and have a blast shopping. They are offering plenty of stuff to buy at a very competitive price. They have weekly promotions, so keep an eye on it if you are looking for some good bargain.

I couldn’t resist the ongoing sale, so I ordered a couple of things from cincaibuy.com.

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The parcel takes about 5-7 days to arrive.

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Specially ordered these for my next traveling escapade. ;)

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3 piece brown leather bagpack set for easy and fuss free travel.

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Silk kimono cardigan so that I can look elegant in photos.

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And last but not least, sunglasses. I’m a huge fan of sunglasses. I’ll never travel without them. They make me look stylish even on the worst days.

Cincaibuy.com is not a shabby place to shop online and I can vouch for it. Ho ahead and hop over there to take a look and make a purchase or two. Should you need any sort of assistance, just contact their customer service. Their customer service is friendly and attentive and you can easily reach them via this Whatsapps no: +6018 9698 589 from 8am to 6pm daily.

Cincaibuy.com contacts:
 Mobile: +6018 9698 589
 Email: [email protected]
 WhatsApp: 018 9698 589
 Instagram: @cincaibuy

This entry was posted in Fashion.

Kos Serani Raya Collection 2015 Showcase at Iftar with eWana.FM

Guest photographer: Yard Yarzlil

I’m a little bit of a vainpot these days. Looking good apparently makes me feel good as well, and so, for the upcoming Aidilfitri 2015, I begged my favourite designer, Kos Serani to design something outstanding for me and my boys to wear for the festive season. Despite of receiving overwhelming orders, Kos Serani agreed to indulge my whims and fancy, so I guess I’ll be wearing beautifully unique designer’s label this coming festive season instead of my usual ready made clothing bought off from the retail stores. I have no doubt that Kos Serani would make us look striking with his exclusively designed clothing.

Kose Serani has unveiled some of his Hari Raya collection during Iftar with eWana FM at D’Arab Station, Cheras and here’s sharing a sneak peak on some of Kose Designs&Collection for Aidilfitri 2015.

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Singing sensation Aftershock performing and entertaining guests during Iftar with eWana FM at D’Arab Station, Cheras.

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Celebrating friendship and togetherness at Iftar with eWana FM at D’Arab Station, Cheras.

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Delicious Nasi Mandi Ayam served by D’Arab Station, Cheras for iftar.

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After the buka puasa session, Kos Serani and his models showcased the new Hari Raya 2015 collection.

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Recently crowned Mister Charming 2015, Adam Arjuna flashing his ever charming smile while wearing one of Kos Serani’s baju Melayu. Modest, simple but striking in colour.

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Minimalistic Baju Melayu for casual festive events. Definitely great for visiting or attending open houses.

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The collection not only emphasized in details but comfort as well.

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Another Baju Melayu in Kos Serani’s label. Oriental inspired, this Baju Melayu have the Chinese button’s closure.

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Unique Mandarin collar with Chinese button’s closure. Definitely great for those who usually misplace their Baju Melayu buttons.

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Not into Baju Melayu and wants something strikingly extraordinary? No fret, there’s this Matrix Jubah for those who wants to be different this festive season.

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Aim for the young gentlemen who wants to go all stylish, this was one design in the new collection that receive a lot of attention among the guests. It was the darling of the crowd.

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Kos Serani is a maestro in menswear, but the ladies can look forward to some fanficul dresses from him as well. Sweet looking dress, don’t you think?

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Pink and elegant with laces and beads.

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Pretty in blue.

This is just a sneak peak to Kose Serani Design& Collection. There’s plenty more to come and I’ll be sure to share with all of you here soon. ;)

Add A Modern Twist To Traditional Sweet and Savory Hari Raya Delights with Ayam Brand

Hari Raya is around the corner. How far along are you with preparations for the family gathering, feasting with friends and the open house?

Ayam Brand, famed for its wide range of healthy and convenient, preservative-free canned products, has a selection of four traditional sweet and savory recipes that are quick to prepare, and tasty for Hari Raya.

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Surprise the family on the first day of Hari Raya with a breakfast of Sardine Laksa, which combines the rich creaminess of coconut milk, with the smoothness of premium Ayam Brand  sardines, perked up with freshness of calamansi lime. It has the taste of traditional laksa that you love, yet can be prepared and ready to serve in half the time with less effort.

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Make it a memorable open house with the Thai favorite of Creamy Rice Mango that is both savory and sweet for a delightful snack in place of the more traditional lemang. It is ready to serve in just 30 minutes, but will leave your guests impressed.

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Guests will love the flavorful Bubur Cha Cha

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And the colorful and refreshing Ice Kacang, both made with Ayam Brand Coconut Milk, and surprisingly quick and easy to prepare.

Add a modern twist to tradition this Hari Raya with these simple to prepare yet visually and tasty recipes from Ayam Brand. For more healthy and easy recipes and for more information on Ayam Brand as well as a wide range of recipes, please visit www.ayambrand.com.my or join facebook : Ayam Brand-World of Recipes

A Star-Studded Ramadan at Klang Parade

In light of the pensive mood marking the fasting month descending upon Muslims, Klang Parade thus organises the inaugural Fiesta Klang Parade to enliven the atmosphere with a variety of show-stopping performances by acclaimed celebrities like Anuar Zain and Adibah Noor to complement other exciting events and activities happening in the mall throughout the month of June/July.

While Fiesta Klang Parade gets live on 13 June, Saturday, the main event commenced on 14 June, Sunday at 2:30pm, whereby shoppers would be entreated to an opening performance by Azizi Zakaria of the DiGi Celebriteen fame.

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Elizabeth Tan, the YouTube starlet who rose to fame last year for her rendition of Sudirman’s Tanggal 31, followed suit and was accompanied by Rejuvenate Dance Crew, who pop, lock, and break it to the tune of Tan’s latest single, “Knock Knock”.

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Here’s what happened that late afternoon. Adibah Noor took the stage and performed a couple of her most memorable hits before passing the microphone on to Anuar Zain.

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It is a rare sight to have a couple of Malaysia’s most recognisable names in the entertainment industry perform at the same location on the same day, so be sure to catch them during their brief stay at Fiesta Klang Parade.

Other Highlights during Klang Parade Fiesta:

*Baki Zainal hosts the fiesta! He’ll be working closely with deejays from Suria FM to excite shoppers the entire day.

*Suria FM Wheelers will also be present to play games with shoppers and to provide giveaways.

For the first time, Klang Parade will alsp launch its very own Flea Market to coincide with the fiesta over the weekend, featuring a myriad of novelty items for sale.

A Trick Art Gallery is also up on the First Floor (4 – 30 June) and shoppers are invited to participate in a “Snap and Win” Instagram contest. All participants have to do is simply snap a photograph of themselves at the gallery then upload them to their Instagram accounts with the hashtags #KlangParade and #TrickArt. Prizes worth RM3,000 are up for grabs for the most creative and funniest entries, and results will be announced at the end of the month.
Klang Parade’s very own Bazaar Ramadan kicks off from 12 June and will last till 15 July. Still not too late to hop over there for the bazaar people ;)

The Fiesta Klang Parade isn’t a departure from the mall’s usual offerings but rather a continuation of the retail centre’s commitment to provide more appealing opportunities for a wider audience. Understanding the holy month for Muslims can be a rather sedate affair, the fiesta was thus organised to exhilarate shoppers even before they begin to fast.

Rajawali Bazaar Ramadan, Awana Resort Genting

Guest Photographer: AlienGoTravel
Shots taken with : Nikon Coolpix S33

Fancy breaking fast at 3,000 above sea level? Well then, head over to Rajawali Coffee House in Awana Resort Hotel, Genting Highlands. The restaurant is offering Rajawali Bazaar Ramadhan for this Ramadan 2015, featuring a rather generous buffet spread for your gastronomic pleasure.

As usual, like all of my Ramadan buffet reviews, I’ll just highlight what I think worth having rather than going in depth for each dishes featured at this buffet.

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Kambing Bakar Ahmad Rosnie

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Australian Roast Lamb, dressed with homemade black pepper sauce and mint sauce. Perfectly done and I definitely wouldn’t mind seconds, but of course I had to save space for other tantalizing dishes offered in the buffet.

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Kelantanese Delights, Nasi Kerabu and condiments along with the side dishes.

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The all time Malaysians favourite rice dish during special occasions, Nasi Briyani.

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Anne Gopal Sappede. This live action stall features freshly made Murtabak, Roti Canai, Roti Telur, Puree, Chappati, Dhosai, Idli and condiments like Parpu Masalah, Tengga Chutney Tomato Chutney and Potato Masala.

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Had some Murtabak and thought these are definitely one of the better ones I’ve tasted during Ramadan buffet media previews.

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The noodle counter, featuring assorted noodles and sides for you to assemble to your own liking.

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The Sup Kambing was simply delicious, definitely a cure for the grumbling tummy.

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To my delight, my favourite Laksa Penang is also available at the buffet. Needless to say, I enjoyed this very much.

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Kebabs and shawerma is also offered at the Middle East live action stall.

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Seafood lovers would be pleased to discover that they are not forgotten. I spotted the grilled flower crabs at the grilled section and thought they are simply sensational.

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Not into grilled seafood? That’s fine. There is always Seafood on Ice.

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Lok Lok and Yong Taufu

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These assorted skewered fishballs and surimis are bland on it’s own, but perfect when paired with the specially made sweet and spicy sauce.

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Kak Nor Ratu Kueh section features assorted traditional kuih for you to enjoy.

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Fruits to cleanse your palate with.

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You may also assemble your own Ais Kacang at the assorted beverages section.

The Ramadan buffet is available starting from 18 June to 16 July 2105, from 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm.

Price:

RM 88.00 nett [adult] ; RM 48.00 nett [child] ; RM 60.00 nett [senior citizen]

RM 60.00 per pax for early birds booking with payment made before 16 June 2015.

The Rajawali Coffee House also caters Sahur for the Muslims, which is available on 18 June to 16 July 2105 from 3.00 am to 5.30 am.

Price:

RM 30.00 nett [adult]
RM 15.00 nett [child]

For bookings and reservations, please hop over to: http://www.rwgenting.com/dining/buffet/rajawali-coffee-house/

First World Hotel Annexe Tower 2A

Guest Photographer: AlienGoTravel
Shots taken with : Nikon Coolpix S33

Genting Highlands is almost a second home to me and my family. Being a KL-ite, we tend to escape to Genting Highlands during the weekend whenever stress is too much for us to bear or when the weather is overwhelmingly heaty. The place provides the much needed escape from rat race and the hustle and bustle of of the city. To us, there is much more to Genting Highlands than just a well-famed theme park or a gambling paradise.

There’s plenty of interesting places to visit in Genting Highlands. Strawberry Park, Mushroom Farm, Mini Cameron, Lavender Farm, Bee Farm, Chin Swee Cave Temple, just to name a few. These attractions are rarely advertised in comparison to concerts and events that’s going on up in Genting Arena of Stars, but I assure you, it’s worth visiting. I’d be writing about interesting places to visit in Genting Highlands along with a food trail guide for those who are traveling on a shoestring, but for now, let’s start with accommodation, shall we?

There are plenty of resorts and hotels that you could book in while you are staying in Genting Highlands depending on your budget and iterinery, but here’s introducing one that is suitable for those who are interested in the casino and theme park part of Genting Highlands; the new First World Hotel Annexe Tower 2A.

First World Hotel is rated 3 stars and is currently the second largest hotel in the world after MGM Grand Las Vegas. It is our family’s favourite hotel to spend the night at during our short weekend getaways in Genting Highlands. We stayed there plenty of times but during our most recent trip, we stayed at the new First World Hotel Annexe Tower 2A, an extension to First World Hotel Tower 2, where more rooms are offered to accommodate guests.

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Walking through the passageway that connects Tower 2 and Tower 2A of the First World hotel, we were greeted by
contemporary setting in the lobby, complete with 3D television visuals, chillmusic and a designer’s featured wall.

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There is a fairly decent cafe located opposite of the lobby, known as Terminal 2.

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Terminal 2 offers quite an extensive menu in comparison to my favourite lurk, The Bakery located in Genting Grand Hotel.

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Assorted pastries and pizzas are freshly prepared for your gastronomic pleasure.

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Wide arrays of pastries and delicatessens being displayed on the shelf. They are quite reasonably priced for a cafe in Genting Highlands.

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Diners could opt to take away their orders or enjoy their meals in at the cafe overlooking magnificent view.

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Moving on to the lobby, self check in and check out kioks can be spotted all around for guests’ convenience, mirroring what’s implemented in First World Hotel Tower 1 and Tower 2.

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There are 2 types of check-in kiosk at First World Hotel Annexe Tower 2 A Lobby. One is grey in and another one is green. There are 2 types of check-in kiosk at First World Hotel Lobby. One is grey in and another one is green in color.  Grey color is Express Self Check-In while Green kioks is for guests who have means made prior bookings at First World Hotel Genting website where they can directly check-in upon arrival and proceed to get their room number and access card.

To check in:

Step 1 : Touch the screen to begin and select your preferred language (English or Mandarin)
Stsp 2 : Identify yourself with MyKad or passport 
Step 3 : Select your booking to check-in. You can also make new reservation if you have not pre-booked in advance 
Step 4: Tap the boxes to select your requests
Step 5 : Proceed to check in and confirm your reservation and payment details 
Step 6 : Select your preferred payment method and confirm the payment (cash or Genting points)
Step 7: Once your payment is successful, press next to proceed for check-in
Step 8: Merge your reservations if required
Step 9 : Select number of room keys required (one card or 2 cards) 
Step 10: Collect your room keys and check-in slip. Check-in is now complete.

Express check in:

Step 1: Scan your MyKad/ Passport (for foreigners) 
Step 2 : Confirm your booking information 
Step 3: Select the number of room keys (1 or 2) and collect access card with receipt.

To check out, simply insert your access card into the check out machine slot.

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There are a few types of rooms offered in this Tower 2A, but here’s our room last weekend. XYZ Deluxe Room, with two single beds. As usual, my husband and I shared one bed while the boy gets to sleep on his own for the night.

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Functional wardrobe, kettle, safebox and mini fridge is provided for your convenience. Charging your gadgets is made easy by the International and USB access sockets provided. There is no iron provided. Should you require that, do call up housekeeping and make your request.

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Mini Fridge

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Electronic kettle and complimentary instant coffee satchets and tea pack.

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In-room entertainment includes a flat screen TV.

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The shower, the vanity and the toilet shares the same compartment but with seperate cubicles.

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The toilet was squeaky clean.

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The shower is rather an intimate one. My husband and I loves to share the shower and wash ourselves during bath time, so we find it quite difficult to maneuver in it. Suffice to say, this shower booth is meant to accommodate just one person. Regardless, my husband and I found it rather kinky to share the shower together during our bathtime over here in the room.

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Hair dryer is available at the vanity section of the bathroom, so you don’t have to call up housekeeping should you require to use this.

While the room is not a luxurious one, it is undeniably compact and functional. Highly recommended for those who intends to spend their time exploring the theme park, try their hands gambling at the casino or explore tourism spots in Genting Highlands.

For more information on other types of rooms and the rates for this hotel, you may check out this link: http://www.rwgenting.com/hotel/firstworld-hotel/

Selangor Homestay Festival 2015

Motherhood was quite a trial and terror for me, especially when my son was younger. No, not because he is a special need child and have different milestone in comparison to his peers. I realize that rather late but because I fell prey to the society’s expectation on his milestones, especially the uneducated and terribly uninformed friends and relatives. My son and I, we both thrive when I finally stopped doing what people expects me to do as a parent and goes against the norm. Life gets less stressful and less depressing when I stopped listening to the advises of ‘parenting experts’ all around me. That said, we started to get out of our comfort zone and started exploring our country to widen our horizon and experience things first hand. Couldn’t be more glad that I decided to take that step and if I could turn back time, I would do it again. Only sooner.

Traveling with a young child can be quite a hassle when it comes to transportation, planning a memorable itinerary for each trips and not to mention sleeping arrangements and accommodation. But I have a few tricks up my sleeves when it comes to making the most out of a trip without burning a huge hole in the pocket; which is sign up for an all in planned vacation.

Plenty of travel agencies in Malaysia is offering planned vacation packages for the whole family, but I’m much more inclined to sign up for packages offered by local homestays instead of travel agencies. Stayed and visited plenty of homestays during my FAM trips with Tourism Malaysia and I vouch for their hospitality and planned iterinery. My two favourite homestays got to be Homestay Bukit Gantang, Perak (stayed there for a couple of days during Railway Tourism trip in 2014) and Banghuris Homestay in Sepang. Activities in both of these two places beats a luxury vacation flat, I kid you not. There is a certain charm where you stay with a host and their family, I must say and both my son and husband enjoyed our stays a lot.

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I’m constantly on a lookout for what local homestays have to offer and so, when Homestay Festival was held back in May, I couldn’t resist but check it out. I thought perhaps I could sign up for some planned vacations in some of the homestays in Malaysia.

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Tourism folks who made the event possible

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Here’s checking out booths featuring participating homestays from all over Malaysia.

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Spotted some interesting ones. ;)

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One of the common planned activities that is usually included in most of these homestays’ itinery; batik painting.

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Cooking demo

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And craft-making session. Here’s a craft making session activity hosted by Homestay Haji Dorani during the Selangor Homestay Festival 2015.We arrived just in time to join in and weave our own masterpiece.

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I failed terribly because I’m very bad with my hands but here’s my son, AlienGoTravel’s masterpiece. Weaved grasshopper. Not too shabby, eh?

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Speaking of arts and crafts, some homestays also produce high quality handmade souvenirs.

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Pretty keychains, don’t you think? These are handcrafted.

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It is interesting to note that each of the participating homestays supports small businesses and entrepreneurs and I directly help to increase their revenue. Local products can be seen being sold at each of the booths and I was told that some homestays is also offering factory visit to tourists who are interested in learning the trade or those who are interested go experience first hand on what happen behind the scene when stuff are made. So yes, you can expect visits to keropok lekor factory or visits to palm oil or coffee factory in some homestays. Play your card right and you’d probably have it included in your homestay vacation packages.

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Some homestays even have spa facilities and offers traditional training for those who are interested to learn the trade.

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Cultural dance performance to entertain visitors who visited the festival can be seen at intervals. And yes. You can also learn folk dance in some homestays too. I recalled one from Terengganu offering ‘Ulek Mayang’ dance class to their guests. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of that particularly homestay, so if you are interested, you’re going to have to Google that.

Malaysia is a very interesting country and have quite a lot to offer when it comes to tourism. Apart from interesting places to visit, we are also rich with cultural diversity.Why not give our own backyard some exploration before we globetrot and take on the world? ;) I certainly want to do that, and hopefully I could write my first hand experience on what homestays in Malaysia have go offer in the nearest future. :)

Selangor Islamic Festival 2015

This is way overdue, but in my defense, I have to say that my hands are tied and I’ve been terribly busy with traveling and food reviewing.

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I nearly forgotten that I’ve been to the Selangor Islamic Festival back in the end of May 2015 until I’ve seen plenty of unpleasant things in my Facebook newsfeed: issues being stirred to provoke racial and religious tension between Muslim and non Muslims and not to mention some Halal issues being thrown in.

Being greeted almost daily with pictures with captions like “Malaysia is no longer multiracial country “, “What dress code? They are just taking away our rights to dress up! We should put a stop to this nonsense!” doesn’t sit well with me as fingers are actually pointing to Islam and Muslims in general for being oppressive and restrictive.

A few years back, I would have nodded in agreement but after spending some time widening my horizon through some traveling, I’d say the issues that has been brought up is terribly ridiculous and to agree with such statement is terribly shallow, as I come to learn that the real Islamic teaching is not exactly oppressive but liberating instead. Islam is easy, but the extremists makes it complicated causing the religion to be constantly misunderstood. I would refrain ffom divulging about those ongoing issuds but suffice to say, I see things differently now.

Anyway, enough ramblings. Here’s sharing with you my experience at the Selangor Islamic Festival 2015.

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There were plenty of things to see and do at the Selangor Islamic Fest. There’s cat show, archery competition, food village and of course, booths selling Muslim clothing and hijab, but one that caught my eyes is the ‘Teh Tarik’ session. Entry to the session is free, and so I head over to the registration counter and registered for the talk.

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Having attended the ‘Teh Tarik Bersama Asatizah’ during the Selangor Islamic Fest with my husband and son was quite an eye opening experience. It was a two hour talk about Halal issue, traveling in Islam and establishing syariah compliance business. You think such talk is only for Muslims and the Non Muslims should avoid the ‘brainwashing’ talk like a plague? Don’t be so shallow. Think again. Knowledge is power and definitely empowering. Those who are involved in F&B and travel agency business would have benefited greatly from the ‘Teh Tarik’ session where talks on halal certification issues and increasing revenue via Halal food/ Muslim travel packages are given. Q&A session also focused on the mushrooming Islamic tourism and how travelers, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike could make the most out of the specified industry.

People tend to condemn and shy away from the things that they couldn’t understand, but I prefer to try to learn and study about it instead. I think both Muslims and non Muslims in Malaysia could benefit greatly from attending such talks. There is so much to learn and so much misunderstandings and misconception to be cleared.

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Here’s Puan Saimah, Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysia Selangor, handing over goodies and certificate of appreciation to speakers and participants of the Teh Tarik Session when the session ends. I think the session ended too soon as I have more questions to ask, especially regarding Islamic tourism and establishing syariah compliance business and making huge revenue out of it, but I guess there will always be next time.

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We had some refreshing Teh Tarik to quench our thirst before heading over to the cat exhibition.

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Being a cat lover, to say that I enjoyed the exhibition and the cat show is an understatement.

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Was feeling rather famished after the catshow, so after grabbing some canned cat food for my fur kids at home we head out to the Food Village to hunt for something to munch on before dinner.

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Bought this Coneydog with sliced potato crisps to have on the go before spotting the archery village. Needless to say, such things never fail to intrigue me.

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Archers were spotted resting in the makeshift camp.

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Professional archers dressed in traditional Malay clothing in action. The guys spotted me and my son snapping photos and invited us to give archery a try, and I have to say, it was quite an experience.

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And apparently, I have a hidden talent for archery. ;) Hit the bullseye and managed quite a score and brought this back home as a compliment and a token to remember the day by.

I would have to say that going to this festival is by far one of the most enlightening and empowering event that I’ve ever been to. And while people thinks that this is only for the Muslims, I definitely think differently and one could benefit greatly from such festival. I surely hope that there will be more events like this in the nearest future and hope this won’t be the last one for me.