LEGO Friends LIVE is actually products and cartoons turned into real people for a musical. These are the little one’s favorite characters in LEGO! She watches the cartoons religiously and knows all about Andrea, Mia, Emma, Olivia and Stephanie. Her bigger sister is more into Chima nowadays.
Little E was looking forward to seeing the LEGO Friends characters in real life!
We were at Legoland over the weekend and we actually spotted the characters of Lego Friends twice – once when we were having breakfast in Legoland Hotel on the first day and the second time just as we were entering the park on the second day.
Unfortunately, we were in the midst of eating the first time so we didn’t go out to take photos with the girls of Lego Friends and we wanted to get a family photo with a LEGO character the second time and by the time we were done the cast had finished their photo session and walked past us to get ready for their first show.
We could actually enter the Legoland Theme Park at 9:30 am since we were staying at the hotel (a full 30 minutes before everyone) and I’ll write about both the Legoland Water Park and the Legoland Theme Park separately.
I just wanted to talk about us experiencing the first ever LEGO Friends musical performance in Asia!
There’s giant balloons which they threw to us and we bounced around back to them – a nice interactive touch!
It was quite a surreal experience – having watched the cartoons from the little one’s iPad, it took a bit of processing to see real life people looking and dressed up like LEGO Friends characters and *acting* like them too! They each have different personalities which are amped up in the musical performance.
I filmed a video of the sound check, skit, interaction between the real life LEGO Friends and a bit of the start of the concert. I loved how they really got into character – the kids enjoyed it, and so did we! I got the little one a nice purple t-shirt of LEGO Friends too (the bigger one wanted a LEGO Chima one).
We had an awesome time, it’s a good thing we made the time to drop by LEGO City Stage to see this musical. More about our family Legoland trip soon! :)
We’re here on a 3D/2N adventure with the kids before school starts! We were at the Legoland Water Park for the whole day yesterday and we’re going to the Legoland Theme Park today. It’s a good thing we’re staying at the Legoland Hotel coz guests can enter the park earlier at 9:30 am before it opens to the general public.
The rooms are gorgeous, will write more about it when I come back. It’s time to go get some breakfast – we had room service last night coz the kids were tired and it wasn’t good at all. Unfortunately, most of the items were cold and one dish was inedible (stringy, dry chicken) but otherwise the experience here is great. The service and attentiveness of the staff is awesome!
These things are popping up like mushrooms. I’m currently in Johor and staying at Zoom Inn Boutique Hotel in Danga Bay for a night. I got it online for about RM 90+ and realized that the walk-in rate is only RM 78. There are three shoplot hotels within the area (not including Tune Hotel) and from looking at all (the room wasn’t available until 3 pm) this seems to provide the best price-comfort consideration.
Ill omens and portents. (!!!) Game Over all over the room. I’m not sure I want to see that whenever I open my eyes. However, it is pretty creative, each room is has its unique theme and decoration…and the repeating game overis tethered to a quasi picture frame of someone playing a console game. Very artsy fartsy.
Either-Or sliding door for toilet and shower.
The large LCD TV right at the foot of your bed is awesome though – it has all the premium channels but I only watch Discovery Channel or National Geographic variants/spinoffs. I’ll be happy with those channels.
Pretty comfortable for a night
Good selection of cable channels
Friendly and apologetic staff
Weak to non-existent WiFi
Room is dark
No writing desk
It also has stains on the duvet that looks suspiciously like blood. I can only imagine what the previous occupants were doing but since their hairs are still sticking to the pillows, a multitude of entirely unwanted vivid scenarios come into mind.
I’m still waiting for housekeeping to change the sheets.
Speaking of creative, MilkADeal is having an awesome deal for novelty 8 GB USB drives in a variety of designs.
How does breaking your fast with royalty sound? Warong Saga has been operating for decades near the old cemetery in JB. The proprietors running it are the second generation and contrary to popular belief, it’s named after pokok saga instead of Proton Saga. ;)
Anyway, Warong Saga’s main claim to fame is their lontong kering. JB makes the best lontong kering in the country, or so they’ll have you believe. Lotong kering is a breakfast meal of nasi impit (compressed rice), a potpourri of vegetables (long beans, leeks, potatoes) and a piece of chicken rendang.
The entire dish is then doused with a generous amount of peanut sauce. It’s a pleasure to use the nasi impit to wipe the gravy from the plate before devouring it. The multitude of textures and flavors in lontong kering makes it an ideal breakfast.
The walls of Warong Saga is adorned with sultans, prime ministers (both ours and Singapore’s) and other people of historical importance and it attracts a healthy local crowd for breakfast.
This place is a bit hard to find for non-locals but if you follow the old royal cemetery and watch out for a small shop by the road you’ll see it. The lontong kering and the chill, relaxed atmosphere in Warong Saga makes it well worth the trip! :)
I just had the best mee rebus tulang gearbox at Restoran ZZ Sup Tulang in JB. This is one of those local foodie treasures that you need a local to bring you to.
The place is a rather chaotic assembly of huts and trees. The huts with the thatched roofs is meant to keep the sun and rain off your head and I found that dining in nature whets the appetite like nothing else.
What is mee rebus tulang gearbox? Well, it’s basically Malay style noodles with an interesting component – the tulang gearbox part. Tulang gearbox is basically the large bones from a cow, usually from the shank. There is still quite a lot of meat, cartilage and tendon on the bones but when you request for it “gearbox style” it comes with a straw.
The straw is for you to suck the marrow out of the huge bones.
The portion of the noodles in mee rebus tulang gearbox is a bit small for me but the gravy is sinfully rich and delicious. It leaves you hankering for more. It’s about RM 8.50 and comes with 4 good sized bones.
You’ll find at least one HUGE bone in there and you’re supposed to insert the straw deep inside it and suck in all the marrow and juices. It’s a visceral experience like no other. The bone marrow is sweet, warm and hearty. It’s simply the best mee rebus tulang gearbox I’ve had!
You know, I’m not a particularly photogenic person. The concept of angles and poses is like an arcane art which I never quite mastered. People tell me I look better in real life than in photos.
I was browsing through my photos from JB (the most recent one that I just came back from) and saw this photo of me and Jayne drinking in the hotel room at night. We were both in our PJs and Jayne had this priceless expression on her face which I found hilarious.
She’s one of those people who’s really photogenic – the camera just adores her. It’s a great skill to have, but I guess it’ll forever elude me…it’s like how I can never style my hair properly unless it’s done by a hairstylist. :x
There is a Chinese style curry fish head place in JB that seems to be VERY popular among the locals. Kam Long Restaurant serves curry fish head and curry fish head only. It’s their flagship, signature dish and…the only item on the menu. ;) I have heard about the prodigious queues forming just to get a taste of this very dish and I was very keen to check it out.
The funniest thing I heard (which I didn’t get the first time) was from Lainey bff who told me – DON’T WRITE ABOUT IT. Geddit? I didn’t the first (or second time) either.
Anyway, it just so happens that I was reading The Dead Cockroach’s review of the place the day before we were heading down. We drove along Jalan Wong Ah Fook twice and still couldn’t find the place so we stopped and asked for directions several times.
Okay, the problem with this place is that you can’t exactly see the Kam Leong Restaurant signboard while you’re driving. It’s obscured by some pull down canvas shutters to keep the sun out. It’s actually not hard to find – you just have to drive down from the BEGINNING of Jalan Wong Ah Fook and stop at the first traffic light.
You’ll be able to see the queue of people outside the humble restaurant – just cross the road to join in.
It should be noted that the queue is not strictly first-come-first-serve. The small size of the restaurant and the limited seating arrangements allowed us (a group of two) to share a table with other people while if you’re in a larger posse, you might have to wait longer until a table clears.
Well, since there’s only one thing to order, we went for the famous curry fish head for two people. It’s RM 18 inclusive of rice and you best be able to read Chinese coz there are no other languages on the menu. In fact, there is no menu, save for a small signboard beside the industrious kitchen.
I have to admit, the Chinese style curry fish head is very good. Lainey finished her rice, which is quite uncommon and I loved the curry sauce. They put in a lot of vegetables too – okra, long beans, tofu and so on but the fish head is the centerpiece and it does not disappoint.
The flesh of the fish is tender and juicy and the curry sauce complements the fresh fish head very well. My only complaint is that there isn’t enough fish meat to go around so if you’re feeling particularly hungry, order +1 people more than your group. :)
Anyway, I’m heading to JB again in a couple of hours despite just coming back early this week. Heh! We were in JB for Freedom. There’s another one this Saturday right in KL so don’t miss it! I’ll be going to the Freedom in Penang at the end of the month too!
Spotted at a JB toilet. It basically says “Beware – Thief. Don’t hang your pants here. Thanks.”.
Surreal. In other news we’re staying at Zon Regency Hotel by the sea and Gods be good it’s a duty free haven.
I can’t say much about the quality of food (it’s alright but nothing to write home about – wait till my next post for an awesome JB specialty). However, it IS exactly like the photo in the menu so no one can say that it’s false advertising.
The best thing however is the ambience – it’s al fresco dining beside the sea…and yes, you can see Singapore yonder.
Senibong is a seafood haven located at Permas Jaya in Johor. I was very keen to try out this place since it has a reputation for having the freshest seafood in town. The restaurant we went to has been featured in Jalan Jalan Cari Makan, a local food TV feature. It turned out to be a truly extraordinary dinner!
Kampung Senibong is situated right by the sea and and boasts a long row of restaurants serving a wide range of various aquatic creatures.
Senibong itself is a village of seafood restaurants and all of them display the catch of the day – everything ranging from the relatively mundane fish to exotic stingrays.
I could be mistaken but I believe most, if not all, of the restaurants are halal. This is also another attraction since my experiences with halal seafood is limited, to say the least. The seafood I’ve eaten is usually cooked Chinese style and I thought it’ll be awesome to sample Malay style seafood. :D
Senibong seafood is really just a long alley inter-spaced with private jetties owned by the restaurants. I imagine that’s where the fishermen unload their catch to be sold to the eateries. It manages to balance the fine line between commercialism and a quaint village like ambiance. I found the place very warm and inviting.
The lot of us descended to 6 Corner, one of the restaurants in Senibong. Dusk was just setting in and you can see the sea stretching out from the dining area.
I was told you can even glimpse Singapore from that vantage point.
Regardless, there’s just something about the sea breeze that whets your appetite like nothing else. :)
The first dish that came out was mussels cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce. The gravy was delectable! I nearly finished my plate of rice just from eating the mussels and the gravy inside.
I thought nothing could surpass that but then came the fish. It’s deep fried and cooked with Thai chilli sauce and pineapples. I’m not sure what type of fish they used but it didn’t come with a lot of bones, which is always a good thing. I sat on a table that has the fewest people, just so I could eat more of the food.
It turns out that the fish wasn’t sufficient so I was thick skinned enough to “borrow” the adjoining table’s dish. Heh! It really is that good. Who would have thought Thai chilli sauce and pineapples would make such a mouth-watering gravy?
This is the obligatory vegetable dish. I’m not keen on vegetables, especially when there are other more delicious fare on the table so I can’t comment on this. I ate some anyway.
This is just a plain egg omelet but 6 Corner somehow manages to elevate this simple dish into something extraordinary. The seasoning goes very well with the egg and the omelet neutralizes the stronger taste of the seafood dishes.
The deep fried whole prawns with chilli dipping sauce is awesome. I don’t know what they put into the batter but it tastes great and it’s crunchy enough to eat the entire thing whole – head and all. I also like the boat dish that it was served in.
I’m more blasé about the deep fried calamari. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but the other dishes were so divine that this feels bland in comparison.
The tom yam soup is one of 6 Corner’s specialties as well. It’s very appetizing and spicy but it came rather late in the game so everyone was pretty full by then.
Just as we though the parade of dishes was ending, there was one last encore – black pepper crabs. I loved the sauce but I was too stuffed to eat more than a token claw.
It feels like I’m heaping lavish praises on the seafood here but I can honestly say that this is one of the best seafood dinners I’ve ever had in ages. It was truly an extraordinary feast. I ate so much I think my companions were taken aback.
I went on this trip to Pasir Gudang in Johor to catch the World Kite Festival 2011 a few weeks ago. It’s called Festival Layang-Layang Sedunia 2011 in Malay and I was surprised to see a lot of international participants. I also witnessed an awesome 400 meter long kite being deployed (that’s almost half a kilometer) which is pretty impressive.
It seems that the Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival is a big thing amongst kite enthusiasts around the world. I’m amazed that people actually travel to Johor just to fly kites for a couple of days. I used to play with kites as a kid too but never really got into it.
These people however are serious kite enthusiasts. I saw gravity defying contraptions being flown over the weekend and got a lesson on kites around the world while at it.
Here’s a video of the action at Bukit Layang-Layang.
The passion of the international teams is infectious. I ended up talking to some of them, trying to understand their love for the sport. These are people who lug their kites from various countries to Malaysia just for a few days of fraternizing with like minded people and showing off their carefully made kites.
The Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival is held at the appropriately named Bukit Layang-Layang (Kite Hill) and it’s a tourist attraction which the government has capitalized on. A lot of hotels have promotions for this and there’s even a kite museum at the venue.
The kites come in every shape and size. I saw everything from giant alligators to statue sized clowns being flown.
The larger kites require a small “pilot kite” to be raised before the actual kite can fly.
The pilot kite is a small parachute that gives enough lift to enable the main kite – in this case a gigantic squid by the team from Germany – to fly. It takes a lot of skill and effort to get this one afloat.
I found this one particularly impressive too – it’s a dragon kite that measures over 250 meters (!!!). This is from a team in Taiwan and there was a bit of controversy over which category in the competition it can go into.
I don’t know enough about the technicalities of kite classifications to comment, but based on the video, the organizers put them in the “line kite” instead of the “dragon kite” category due to some small design feature which violates the dragon kite specifications.
These type of kites takes a long time to setup and fly – it needs to be packed in a box and guided slowly out before the entire kite is sky bound. The longest one measures over 400 meters (!!!). That’s almost ½ a kilometer and it’s a wonder how they managed to get it up. It must be quite a task to retrieve it in one piece too.
Here are some of the other kites that I liked:
This is a box kite from Australia.
It’s hexagonal shape seem to go against every law of aerodynamics but they actually flew it quite easily.
Our very own country also came out with a starfruit shaped kite.
This is called a spinner – it doesn’t fly per se but floats and spins clockwise, thus the name.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…well, it’s not Superman, but an eagle kite that flies like a real bird.
I saw this YouTube video of a dog totally owning a cat and now I can’t get that image out of my head. I had originally thought of this as a tiger pouncing on a shark but now it looks more like the large cat is about to forcibly initiate some inter-species coitus with the shark. It doesn’t help that the shark kite has a shocked expression on its face too.
Look! A flying acoustic guitar shaped kite!
An anatomically correctCupid kite. ;)
One of the girls in the China team has a rather improbable kite – it’s the tiniest one in the festival and it really flies. Yes, it’s the rose she’s holding in her hand. That’s actually a very small flower kite. Nifty! A rose by any other name is a kite. :D
I went with Khairie and Mohd Zaid and got really sunburned over the weekend, but it was fun experiencing something I normally wouldn’t and talking to the kite enthusiasts around the world. It’s an insightful look into the kite flying subculture, one where even 86-year-old grandmothers fly all the way from Japan to participate in.
The Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival is an annual affair in Johor. They have a website with more information here. This is the 16th incarnation of the festival-cum-competition and it’s interesting to see people who are really serious about it gather from all over the world to indulge in their mutual passion.
Here’s another video of the scene at Bukit Layang-Layang during the event.
It has a very vibrant ambience and everyone was friendly and eager to help each other out. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the nature of the activity practically begs for a quote from the bestselling book by Khaled Hosseini: