Barks Bunnies Café

Barks Bunnies Cafe

The name of the café is an obvious play on a certain WB cartoon. We didn’t actually know this was a “pet café” until we stepped through the doors. I was at the Subang Jaya area with my better half and we just wanted to have a very quick lunch and headed to the nearest place that has parking. That was how we ended up at this rabbit café.

Bunny Cafe

I didn’t take note of the name and it surprised me quite a bit when I saw an enclosure for rabbits to the side. “Dear, it’s one of those rabbit cafes!” I exclaimed. Oh well, doesn’t matter as long as the food was good. This place is pet friendly and some people bring their dogs inside. There was a resident canine on the premises too.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Chicken Pesto Sandwich (RM 13.50)
My dear ordered this coz she saw a sign outside advertising this special. It was plated quite decently, with fries on the bottom and the toasted sandwich sitting on top of the heavily seasoned potatoes. I had a bite and it looked better than it tasted. It wasn’t bad per se, it just wasn’t good either. My better half didn’t finish it.

Ellies Cold Pressed Orange Juice

Ellie’s Cold Pressed Orange Juice (RM 7)
This was pretty good though, can’t go wrong with a drink in a bottle.


Ameri-Cola (RM 12)
What sorcery is this??? Described as “double shot of espresso over Coca Cola on ice”, it would shock most coffee purists. I thought it sounded like a potentially nice combination though and went for it. It wasn’t, but I’m glad I tried it. Haha.

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese (RM 14.50)
I had imagined this to be a creamy 3-cheese mac. I had been craving for a nice mac & cheese for ages and this wasn’t it. The dish that came out was excessively watery, with not much cheese to speak of. I didn’t finish it either.

Kafe Barks Bunnies

Barks Bunnies Café is one of those places you go for the pets, not the food. You can actually touch the rabbits and bring your own cats and dogs, which might be a plus point for animal lovers. The service from the college-aged looking girl was quite good, she asked us if the food was alright since she noticed we didn’t even eat half and I told her there’s a lot of room for improvement and she said the chef is new and she’ll relay my comments to him. We won’t be back to see but let’s hope that’s true.

A local durian stall on the road to Bintangor

Durian Sarawak

Sarawak (or at least Borneo) is said to be the home of the largest variety of durians in the world. My better half came to visit with the kids and her parents and I drove them to the rural town of Bintangor.

Bintagor Durian

We had just seen durians in the local Sibu market the morning before and I expected a few homegrown stalls to be selling the wonderful fruit.

Borneo Durian Stall

I wasn’t disappointed – one wooden structure on the road leading to Bintangor had a few cars pulled up and browsing the durians on offer. Her dad (who is also a passionate durian lover like me) wanted to see what the local durians were like so we also joined the fray.


This man was literally selling durians out from his van. He’s local and says the durian trees were grown by his father. He looks to be in his early 40’s so that says a lot about the age of the durian trees – it’s a lot more mature than most of the cultivars you get in Peninsula Malaysia.

Borneo Durian

The price was RM 100 for 10 durians or RM 15/durian, which is slightly more expensive than the prices we get in KL.

Durian Stem

Keep in mind that these are local Borneo durian species instead of special cultivars and no one really knows what the species is but it tastes quite good. The walls of the fruit was thick and the stem is relatively long and slim like a D158/Ganyao durian. It had the characteristic frayed look of a durian that dropped naturally too.

Durian Flesh

The flesh is creamy and sweet with almost no bitter notes. Significantly, the odor wasn’t very strong too, but that didn’t affect the taste much. The small fruits bore about 7-8 seeds which we all shared. My dear loved the durian coz it didn’t have much fiber, unlike some cultivars like D2 durian.

Durian Us

My better half took this photo of us – she didn’t want her parents to appear on the blog so she asked me to put in her head instead. Haha. I forgot to take a photo with her inside coz my hands were dirty.

Sarawak Durian

It turns out that this was the *only* durian stall around so it’s a good thing we managed to try some during the bridge season. I’ll be back!

Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner @ Ubud, Bali

Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner

We were looking for something local to eat and happened to chance across Bebek Bengil in Google Maps. It actually took us more than 30 minutes to walk over but I thought it was worth it since it’s touted as “The Original Crispy Duck Since 1990”. Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner is known for their crispy grilled duck.

Bebek Bengil Waitresses

This is a different dish from the popular bebek betutu in Bali. Bebek Betutu is a seasoned steamed or roasted duck that’s popular in Bali. Bebek Bengil (which means dirty duck) serves crispy duck. You can even order 1 whole duck for IDR 300,000 if you book one day in advance. It’s a pretty good deal at RM 94/duck if you want to go for it. The service by the uniform clad waitresses is pleasantly discreet and unobstructive.

Bebek Bengil (IDR 125,000)

Bebek Bengil

I had this original dish, which is half a duck steamed in Indonesian spices which is then deep fried for a crispy finish. It’s served with rice and Balinese vegetables and it cost RM 40. It’s their flagship signature dish and it tasted alright. I’m not a huge fan of deep fried duck and I thought it was slightly too crispy but personal tastes aside, it was pretty good.

Thirsty Duck (IDR 44,000)

Thirsty Duck

This is what my better half had – it’s a concoction of pure orange, markisa (passionfruit in the local language) and melon sugar.

Ice Bebek Putih Jambul (IDR 39,000)

Ice Bebek Putih Jambul

The drink I had was chosen at random from the duck-themed options. It turns out to be a shaved ice confection with lots of interesting goodies at the bottom – love the white squiggles and fresh fruit slices.

Bebek Pelalah (IDR 122,000)

Bebek Pelalah

My dear ordered this dish. It’s one of the specialties and the Balinese recipe came from one Ibu Agung Raka Sueni. I have no idea who that is but the owners of Bebek Bengil thought it was noteworthy enough to highlight this in their menu. This is the grilled version of the duck (as opposed to my steamed and deep fried duck) with Balinese sauce and steamed rice. It’s very spicy! I really like the sauce here.

Bebek Bengil Bali

I thought the ambience of Bebek Bengil is unique – the place is totally dark (as you can probably gather from the photos) with the exception of mood lighting from the pavilions where we were seated. There were not a lot of people due to the higher than usual prices. The meal came up to around RM 140 for the two of us and it’s worth a visit for the atmosphere alone. The water features around the raised dining pavilions made it really romantic.

Bebek Bengil Ubud

Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner
Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal,
Ubud, Bali

Café Madeleine Bistro, Oasis Square

Café Madeleine Bistro

My better half told me about a café cum bakery that’s supposed to be quite good and we drove down to Oasis Square to check it out. It says Restaurant Madeline on the signboard but this is actually Café Madeleine Bistro – they have several other outlets in Sunway and Monash (even one in Sunway Medical Centre I remember from my doctor shopping days).

Café Madeleine

There’s an vague Australian vibe in the interior décor with the large central table/bar and magazines lining the shelves on the sides and it seemed like a great place for weekend brunches. The service was a little on the Chinese side (it’s unusual to see so many local Chinese waiters in the era of foreign help) but functional, if unremarkable.

Affogato (RM 8.50)


This is a bit of a disaster – the ice cream in this affogato is instantly recognizable as the cheap locally produced Nestle “ice cream” (not sure if it meets the criteria for ice cream since it’s quite low in real butterfat and undoubtedly has palm oil as a substitute). I tasted it and my dear tasted it and we looked at each other and said “Nestle“. That’s how bad it was. To be fair, the whole thing tasted better after the shot of espresso was poured in, but if I wanted Nestle crap I would have made it at home, even my home has higher quality ice cream.

Hot Chocolate (RM 11)

Hot Chocolate

This was my better half’s order and it seemed to go down alright.

Cappuccino (RM 10)


The waiter actually forgot my order – he thought I just wanted the affogato. I had to remind him to get my drink. Like I said, the service was dreary but I got the feeling that they did try their best…their best is just not good enough. smirk

Teacher’s Pet (RM 15)

Teachers Pet

This is a croissant sandwich with a filling of tuna or chicken ham. Yeah, I didn’t know it was pork free either. My dear’s order, she tried valiantly to finish it. Notice the pepper? I’ll go into that soon.

Madeleine’s Signature Chicken Bravo (RM 25)

Madeleine Signature Chicken Bravo

This is supposed to be “Cajun marinated whole leg served with 2 side dishes”. There’s nothing Cajun about it, and it was way too salty. It also looked like they spilled the pepper shaker on our dishes – everything was covered with pepper! This wasn’t an optional “Hey, I’ll grind a bit on your plate if you want some” deal, it came out like this! Pepper on everything, including the side salad. I was aghast and had to force myself to eat it, although I didn’t finish it. The sauce was disgustingly salty and it was pre-poured on everything, even the (pepper filled) mash potatoes.

Macarons (RM 4.50/piece)

Café Madeleine Macarons

This was the only redeeming feature of our lunch. My dear told me they’re better known for their baked goods (it’s called Madeleine Patisserie after all) and we had one each of Lemon, Summer Love (mixture of berries), Salted Caramel. They’re nowhere close to the likes of Pierre Hermé, Ladurée or even Adriano Zumbo of course, I only made the comparison due to their faux French name. The macarons tasted good, but until today I’m not sure if it’s coz the meal was so bad that they tasted good in comparison.

Café Madeleine Oasis Square

I’ll say avoid at all costs unless you plan on just having the baked goods. The kitchen didn’t impress at all, the food was horrible and overseasoned. I also didn’t like the use of cheap commercial ice cream in their affogato. The bill came up to RM 83 for the two of us, and we would have had a much better meal pretty much anywhere. We won’t be coming back when there are so many good cafes out there. Don’t be fooled by my dear’s great food photography, this place is at best a 1/10.

Mid-Autumn 2015 Mooncake Roundup (Taiwan Special): Pork Floss Mooncakes, Walnut & Medjool Dates Mooncakes, Haagen-Dazs Handcrafted Ice Cream Mooncakes

Walnut Date Mooncake

The majority of mooncakes here are from Taiwan. I was there before the Mid-Autumn Festival and bought all my mooncakes from I-Mei’s flagship shop in the middle of Taipei.

Mooncakes 2015

They’re mostly Taiwanese style mooncakes with flaky pastry shell but there are some of the classic mooncakes too, however all of them are made in Taiwan unless stated otherwise.

I Mei Taiwan

I had actually planned to get all the mooncakes from Taiwan. I thought it’ll be nice to give out mooncakes from Taiwan – it seemed like the ultimate souvenir, although I did buy other gifts too. It was a very busy trip and I couldn’t find time to get out, until my very last day, when Diana took me out at 10 am in the morning to a shop that sells mooncakes.


You can get mooncakes at 7-Eleven and the airport but for the former, you have to order in advance and the latter are commercialized stuff and I’ll rather go for a local producer and this place fit the bill perfectly!

Packing Mooncakes

The friendly people there even helped me pack everything and explained what each mooncake was (granted, I spent quite a lot) so that was good, considering I don’t read Chinese.

Pork Floss with Mung Bean Taiwanese Mooncakes (NTD 630)

Taiwanese Savory Mooncake

This is really good! I would give this Best of 2015 due to its unusual savory-sweet mix. I love how the pork floss interacts with the sweet mung bean paste and I really enjoyed eating this gem. I had specifically gone looking for a savory mooncake after hearing about it from Diana (our Taiwanese liaison).

Pork Floss Taiwanese Mooncakes

I was slightly taken aback when she asked me if I was looking for sweet or savory mooncakes. “Savory mooncakes? Whatever do you mean?” I asked. It turns out that pork floss mooncakes have been around for a while and the award winning combination with mung bean and the Taiwanese pastry skin is quite common here.

Pork Floss Mooncakes

This box cost NTD 630 (about RM 85).

I-Mei Specialty Mooncake Selection 2015 with Premium Gift Box (NTD 750)

Taipei Mooncakes

I got this one for my better half. It has a nice painting on the front of the box showing the exact street where I bought this mooncake from in the early days. I-Mei has been around since 1934 and they came out with a commemoration box where they commissioned someone to paint the street scene of their flagship store in Taipei where I went to.

Imei Mooncakes

This has a mixture of Taiwanese style mooncakes, Hong Kong style mooncakes and a selection of Taiwanese pastries (pineapple cake etc). It also has a wonderful Taiwanese mooncake flavor – dates and walnuts! It also appears in the previous box above (I think) as well as the one below (in the Hong Kong skin) and it’s a wonderful flavor!

I Mei Hong Kong Style Mooncakes (NTD 900)

Hong Kong Mooncakes

This is the most expensive selection in their shop and I got in for my dear’s parents. It’s all Hong Kong style baked skin mooncakes but they’re all made in Taiwan. There’s a HUGE mooncake (200 grams) in the middle which has a pineapple filling as a tribute to its Taiwanese heritage but the others come in a variety of flavors including chocolate, walnut and Medjool dates.

Pineapple Mooncakes

I got to taste the pineapple filling and it was really good.

Pineapple Mooncake

I thought the walnut and date filling is really awesome too (but no one else did). In fact, I’ll say the single yolk date filling Taiwanese mooncake is my second favorite this year.

Medjool Dates Mooncake

I also choose a very interesting pack which had dried scallops and XO in a mooncake but for some reason it wasn’t packed and I wasn’t charged for it. I suspect this happened when we switched from a longer box to a flatter one and before it was tabulated and sealed so I didn’t realize it. Oh well.

Teochew Pure Green Bean Mooncake (RM 9.50)

Teochew Mooncake

This lard filled mooncake is from Setapak Teochew Restaurant. It’s been around since 1912 and they’re using their time-tested recipe. It’s a lot of lard (can smell it as soon as you open it) and decidedly (and proudly?) non-halal and there’s a certain charm to old school mooncakes like this, much like the Foochow mooncakes.

Teochew Lard Mooncake

It’s quite good, although the lard smell/taste is a bit overwhelming and the filling is a little too sweet for today’s standards.

Haagen-Dazs Handcrafted Ice Cream Mooncakes (RM 95)

Haagen-Dazs Mooncakes 2015

My better half got this for me. She knows I love mooncakes (especially unusual ones) and thus brought this home one day. It’s the Petite Collection which contains 5 hand-crafted ice cream mooncakes. Each set has:

  • White Chocolate Mooncake with Mango Ice Cream
  • Strawberry Chocolate Mooncake with Summer Berries & Cream Ice Cream
  • Milk Chocolate Mooncake with Chocolate Ice Cream

Handcrafted Ice Cream Mooncakes

The first one is the best and the “rarest” e.g. each mooncake configuration will have 1:2:2 ratio with the White Chocolate with Mango Ice Cream being the smallest number. Their Deluxe Collection also has the same kind of ice cream mooncakes, but with 2:3:3 respectively.

Haagen-Dazs Mooncakes

The Strawberry Chocolate Mooncake with Summer Berries & Cream Ice Cream is very refreshing too but my dear liked the Milk Chocolate Mooncake with Chocolate Ice Cream, which tasted like the Mother’s Day ice cream cake from Haagen-Dazs I got earlier this year. This is also the same mooncake we featured in TumblingMinis. :D

Taiwan Mooncakes

Like I said, most of the mooncakes this year were purchased during my trip to Taiwan and are made in Taiwan. We both thought that the Taiwanese style pastry mooncakes were much better than their attempts to make a baked skin mooncake. I loved the pork floss with mung bean mooncake and the walnut and date mooncakes came in a close second.

Jombali @ Citta Mall


We were at Citta Mall when we came across this relatively new restaurant. Jombali had taken out a large sign which advertised (of all things) a Michelin inspired dish. smirk

Michelin Inspired

Needless to say, this had nothing to do with Michelin and I have no idea where the whole “inspired by Michelin” bit came in.

Oreo Shake

I ordered an Oreo Shake (RM 8.90) and my better half had a Coconut Shake (RM 8.90). The latter was quite enjoyable, tasted a bit like the Thai counterpart it was meant to emulate but the former wasn’t anything to write home about.

Nasi Goreng 3 Rasa with Ayam Goreng

It was dinnertime so I had the Nasi Goreng 3 Rasa with Ayam Goreng (RM 13.90). This was from their Jomabli Top Sellers menu and the 3 Rasa part means “3 tastes”. It pulled that off quite well – the fried rice was salty, sour (from the tomatoes) and spicy. The portion was GIGANTIC though and I couldn’t finish it although it was good.

Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah

My dear had the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah (RM 10.90) – the chicken is the same but hers is made with rice steamed with santan (coconut milk). It also came in a Supersized portion but the rice wasn’t very hot. I think part of it was due to them trying to serve us both at the same time, a very noble concept but maybe not so suitable for an eatery of their aspirations.

Jombali Citta Mall

Jombali serves up decently priced food and adds to the selection at Citta Mall but we probably won’t be going back again unless we were really hungry.

8 course dinner at Cross Straits Restaurant in Taipei

Cross Straits Club

This was what we had for our final dinner before we all left Taiwan. Cross Straits Club (known locally as CS Club) is a rather swanky place in the middle of Taipei.

Braised Shark Fin with Abalone

Braised Shark Fin with Abalone

I thought it was really good – everything was hidden underneath that piece of cabbage. Please, spare me your PETA rhetoric, I’m really not interested in being evangelized to when I’m not going to convert. smirk Shark fin tasted good in this dish. Full stop.

King Prawn in Superior Soup

King Prawn Pasta

This dish is quite misleadingly named. I’m sure the Chinese is more descriptive. It’s actually the best one of the night – a huge big head prawn in beurre blanc (very buttery!) paired with hand made pasta. Blew my mind.

Stewed Osso Buco with Burgundy Wine

Stewed Osso Buco with Burgundy Wine

Yup, what are we doing eating a Milanese dish in Taiwan? I don’t know but it was delicious! I loved how fork tender and juicy the osso buco was. There’s a lot of melt-in-your-mouth cartilage too.

Vegetables with Dried Scallop

Vegetables with Dried Scallop

This is some kind of crunchy root vegetable but deceptively some of the white bits are actually mushrooms. Nice surprise.

Steamed Fresh Fish with Tofu

Steamed Fresh Fish with Tofu

I love fish so this is a winning combination! I like the whole piece of tofu under the fish too, since we didn’t have rice, the tofu does a nice job in absorbing the flavors.

Xiao Long Bao

Xiao Long Bao

There are two pork xiao long bao and the odd one with prawn roe on the top is filled with truffles! I love the truffled xiao long bao, the earthy stock that came out when you piece the skin into your soup spoon was good.

Seasonal Fruit Platter

Beautiful Fruit Platter

A very nicely arranged selection of fruits. I like how CS Club portions their dishes individually, it’s thoughtful for them to think as a diner and make the appropriate cuts and slices to make your dining experience better too.

Sweetened Hashima with Crystal Sugar

Hashima with Crystal Sugar

This is also known as hasma, the dried fatty tissue near the fallopian tubes of frogs. It’s not frog sperm, contrary to popular belief, it’s the complete opposite. Tastes wonderful in a dessert.

Cross Straits Restaurant

Cross Straits Club also has a London style red telephone booth which they sealed up and filled with water and fish. I thought that made for a unique entrance feature. :)

Huge 5.4 kg Durian from Sang Lee, Pahang

Largest 54kg Durian

I was craving for durians late at night and went to check out one of the “posher” durian stalls near my place. It’s called Kota Durian Red Carpet, named for the red carpets on the floor, I presume. I’ve actually been here with my better half before but we didn’t see anything interesting (besides the dubious A24 and B24 durians, which they claim are better grades of D24).

Sang Lee Durian

However, this time I spotted a HUGE durian among the pile labelled as “Durian Pahang Sang Lee”. Sang Lee is a place near Raub, Pahang which is famous for their durians. These were selling for RM 12/kg and are supposedly durian kampong. It’s slightly more expensive than the RM 10/kg regular durian kampong in the other mound.

Durian Monthong

I was quite surprised at the size of the durian – it weighed in at a staggering 5.4 kg! That comes up to RM 65 for the durian, but since it was almost 1 am, I managed to convince them to let it go at RM 40. The durian was opened up and I saw the flesh was reasonably decent, although in such a gigantic durian, there’s bound to be irregularities.

Huge Durian

I suspect this durian is really a D159/Monthong/Bantal Emas that has been chucked into the pile since Monthong Durians generally don’t sell well in the local market. Yup, that makes it the bigger brother of the frozen durians you’ll find in Asian groceries abroad – Monthong has less odor and the flesh is inoffensive to first-timers. However, this isn’t a pure bred Thailand Monthong durian but the D159 Golden Pillow cultivar planted locally which is a colossal 4-6 kg beast.

Monthong Seeds

The 5.4 kg durian had so much flesh that I found that I could only eat two rows before I was full to the point of being stuffed! It took me 24 hours to finish the entire durian – eating it for every single meal. The flesh was sweet but mostly tasteless – fluffy like a soft marshmallow (it’s almost like eating foam) and very filling since the seeds are quite small.

Monthong Durian

It took a lot of effort to finish the durian and although I can’t say it tasted very good, the distinct lack of a odor and the relatively bland taste of the flesh together with the size makes me believe this is a D159 Monthong. It’s unusual to find durians of this size and it’s certainly one of the more interesting durians I’ve eaten this year. :)

Goldfish (Kim Hu) Durian

Goldfish Durian

Goldfish Durian is known locally as “kim hu” in Penang. Kim Hu is the Hokkien word for Goldfish. I have no idea why this durian is called Goldfish, maybe due to its large and round shape. smirk I had wanted to eat this right after the Susu Durian but was too full so I came back later at night with my better half and the kids.

Durian Goldfish

The Goldfish Durian is a big fruit with a short, thick stubby stem that weighed in at 2.4 kg. It was slightly cheaper at RM 16/kg so this one cost RM 38 (RM 46 inclusive of a bunch of rambutans). The durian tasted sweet to bittersweet and the flesh was nicely wrinkly with completely no fiber. The skin just comes off and it was very, very creamy.

Kim Hu Durian

I had specifically come to Penang for these varieties and wanted to have Ling Fong Jiao, 604, 600 durians etc but they’re all early season durians and Susu Durian, D15 Durian and Ganja Durians are the late season durians that were left. Most of the varieties here are available in George Town and meant for local consumption only. I was quite pleased at the chance of being able to sample the Kim Hoo Durian (Goldfish Durian). It was good – although the kids wouldn’t touch it, my dear liked it too. :)

Durian Susu (Milk Durian) in Penang – it really tastes like milk!

Susu Durian

Susu Durian! This literally means “Milk Durian” (Susu is the Malay word for milk) and it was one of the durians on my To Eat list in Penang. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this durian and couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

Susu Durian Penang

However, I was a little wary about the durians I came across since they all didn’t have a stem. This is usually a VERY BAD sign – especially since all three (3) of the Susu Durians were missing their stem. The likelihood of all 3 falling on the stem (it happens, but rarely) is quite small so a durian missing its stem can mean a range of nefarious things – it was cut before it was ripe or a chemical agents were used to induce ripening.

Durian Susu

Nevertheless, since I’ve never had a Susu Durian before and this was the only stall carrying it, I took a chance. I really wanted to try the famous (among durian connoisseurs) Susu Durian. The husk can range from green to yellow and doesn’t seem to indicate ripeness, I chose my own for this one. This cost RM 18/kg and weighed in at 1.7 kg for a total of RM 31 for the durian.

Susu Penang

The Susu Durian was slightly overripe in some places, slightly under in some places and absolutely perfect in some. I want to emphasize the slightly bit – the over/under is barely noticeable, it just so happens that I was alone and had this durian to myself so I could think and savor at the same time. This could be due to its unusual shape or to possible abovementioned roguish intervention. I can’t really tell, to be honest.

Durian Milk

Amazingly, it has several different tastes in the durian – one segment was bittersweet to bitter and one *perfect* segment was intensely sweet, with only sweet tones and that one smelled and tasted remarkably like milk (which, I gather, is why it got the name). The flesh really tasted so much like cow’s milk that I was quite taken aback. A very nice durian, among the best I ate this year.

Milk Durian

There’s little to no fibre in the Milk Durian and the snow white flesh rates as one of the creamiest durian I ever had, in the literal sense. It’s as creamy as a good Black Thorn with some of the stickiness you’ll find in a Ganja Durian (also known as D158 Ganyao/Kan Yao/Tangkai Panjang). I highly recommend a Penang Susu Durian if you come across one. :)

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